Abu Dhabi: A call to redefine current social programmes and policies to reduce the burden of the elderly was made at a lecture here.

As part of the Continuing Medical Education Programme (CME) organised by the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi (HAAD), Dr Abdul Razak Abyad, Team Leader CME/CPD Section in HAAD, delivered the lecture on the "Assessment of the Elderly Patient".

With improvement of healthcare delivery in the UAE, he added, the percentage of elderly may drastically increase. Abyad discussed the need to reduce the burden of ageing populations.

Some of the factors he discussed included the need to ensure availability of health and social services for older people; help promote participation and productivity amongst the elder; facilitate family provision of support for them; prepare healthcare systems; develop infrastructure for elderly care; shift to prevention and encourage home healthcare.

"Upon completion of this activity participants should be able to recognise the current situation amongst older people in the UAE and identify the need to prepare health professional toward ageing issues and sensitise the important issue of the elderly," said Abyad.