India is witnessing a rapid change in population structure with rising number of senior citizens. The life expectancy of Indians has increased from 32 years in 1947 at the time of independence to 68 years now. This phenomenon of population ageing has impacted every institution of civil society including the health system. Older people need financial security, emotional and social support. With failing health and functional capability senior citizens need of regular access to effective and affordable health care.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences responded to the challenges of population ageing in India by starting a weekly clinical service in 1993 with focus on establishment of service, human resource development and research. The weekly outpatient service was upgraded to a daily service in August 2010 and an academic department in January 2012 as a distinct specialty of Medicine. The first batch of MD students was admitted in January 2012 and the Geriatric Medicine Ward came to existence in July 2012.
The strength of the department has been research, human resource development and state of the art clinical care. The Department provides comprehensive patient care, imparts under-graduate and post-graduate education, doctoral courses, carries out in-service training and conducts basic and clinical research in the field of Geriatrics and Gerontology.
The Department of Geriatric Medicine in coming years will be upgraded to a National Center of Ageing.