I enjoy treating geriatric patients. One has to understand their feelings and gain their confidence as a clinician before planning therapy. There are two categories of such patients: one, in which the will to live is strong and the second in which dejection sets in.

Mr C, 80-years old, and a renowned Marathi poet, was admitted under my care. He was a person full of life and a lively sense of humour. He was brought to me in a miserable condition. There was obviously nothing wrong with him physically, except geriatric complaints of lack of appetite, cough and unsteady gait. We planned his treatment in such a way that in addition to medical therapy and physiotherapy, he could get the feeling that he was cared for and needed. There was always someone to chat with him. It was a pleasure to see him recover. We arranged for a wheelchair for him to move around. He became the darling of the ward staff with his repertory of anecdotes and jokes. It was a sight to see when he was discharged: sisters, wardboys and sweepers all gave him a tearful send-off. I feel handling the elderly like our own grandparents, with love and a little persuasion, gives the desired results.

Compilation of professional reminiscences of specialists - edited by M.V.Kamath and Dr.Rekha Karmarkar.