Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
Senate Bill 2694 filed by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago asks for the creation of adult day-care programs and the establishment of centers that will address the needs and provide care for Filipinos living with neurological diseases.
The bill cited the “Neurological Disorders: Public Health Challenges” report of the World Health Organization which noted that neurological disorders, ranging from migraines to dementia and epilepsy are bound to affect one billion people as the world's population ages. The report recommended that governments include neurological care in the basic health care it offers, thus enabling early diagnoses and treatment for under-detected diseases.
Santiago's bill envisions an adult day care program that offers medical care, rehabilitation therapies, dignified assistance in day-to-day activities, nutrition therapy, health monitoring, social interaction, stimulating activities and transportation for seniors, people with disabilities and younger adults with chronic diseases.
Sen. Santiago's bill believes adult day programs will allow affected individuals to continue living at their homes while receiving the services in adult day-care centers. She notes this set up has been proven to improve functional status, social support and reduce fatigue, depression and pain, aside from reducing admissions to nursing home facilities. It can also reduce medical care and hospitalization costs that can be costly for affected families.
Filipino families with members who have been afflicted with neurological diseases are often ill-equipped and inadequately trained to respond to those needs yet they soldier on, trying their best to provide the best care they can afford. This is one concern where government assistance would definitely be appreciated. The establishment of adult day care programs and centers will provide professional care and therapy to those suffering from the disease and at the same time allow the family members tasked with their care to focus on more productive endeavors during the day.
If our government can spend billions of pesos on repairing roads that aren't even broken then it can probably spend on a program that will employ thousands of Filipino medical professionals to give quality care to the hundreds of thousands affected by neurological disorders and at the same time improve the quality of life of the affected family members who currently have to sacrifice productive daytime hours just to provide that care.*