In a country where more than 90% elders have to work in order to survive, affording quality medical care is a far dream. People are living longer, the Oldest Old, those 80 plus, are estimated to reach 53 million by 2050. 88% of the Oldest Old (80+) suffer from chronic ailments such as hypertension, asthma, arthritis, heart problems etc. HelpAge’s Mobile Healthcare program seeks to provide sustainable healthcare solutions to destitute elders and their community where these are none available through its Mobile Healthcare Units (MHUs). Each MHU has a doctor, pharmacist and a social worker. These MHUs go into the interiors of urban slums and villages, bringing healthcare virtually at the doorsteps of these destitute elders. For most elders it saves them from the long lines at hospitals which are also situated far from their communities and they get free medication on a monthly basis. Their Individual patient card keeps a record of their treatment and helps monitor their progress.
These MHUs often conduct specialized health camps on various diseases and free health check-ups are conducted. The MHUs have also become awareness generating sites, with the social worker empowering the disadvantaged elder with information on various diseases, along with educating them on the various preventive measures that can be taken to prevent the onset of any deadly disease. HelpAge’s MHU service has been recognized as Asia’s largest mobile healthcare network for elders. Currently, 172 MHUs are servicing 1920 community locations, spread over 25 states, and have provided 3.1 million treatments.