top of page


Intriguing as it may appear, we felt the need to raise the issue of Porosh’s credibility and also respond to it as well. Over the years we have observed that the above issue is at the top of an individual’s mind who seeks elderly care support for parent(s) through organizations like Porosh. Infact a few of those who are genuinely interested seek contact numbers from the existing pool of members of Porosh to check the veracity of what we commit in terms of services on offer.

Porosh, as some of you may be aware, is not an NGO. Thus, it does not get, or seek any financial grant, or assistance from any agency. It has to fend for itself. Hence, for sustaining our growth we have adopted a two-pronged strategy. One, to serve the members dedicatedly by offering value for money. Two, like any professionally managed organization, take adequate measures for the well-being of employees. This includes mentoring and training too. Their grievances are also heard and responded to in the quickest possible time. The above strategies seem to be serving us quite well and that is where the issue of credibility comes into play.

Usually ‘member acquisition’ is always at the top of the list of KPIs for any organization but for Porosh it is a bit a different. While ‘member acquisition’ is a given for us, what really matters is ‘member retention’.

Analysis indicates that ‘member retention’ has been ranging YoY between 86% to 92%. Our aim is to reach 100% and sustain it. Obviously, this excludes any member who has passed away. Apart from this, ‘Employee retention’ is 100%! This is no mean feat given the volatility in the job market. The aforementioned KPIs of Porosh are the two most vital indicators demonstrating its credibility.

As we say, numbers speak louder than words.

In adults with Type 2 diabetes, a combination of seven healthy lifestyle habits, including sleeping seven to nine hours per day, exercising regularly, and having frequent social interaction, was related with a decreased risk of dementia.

The findings of the study were published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Type 2 diabetes is a worldwide epidemic that affects one in 10 adults, and having diabetes is known to increase a person’s risk of developing dementia,” said study author Yingli Lu, MD, PhD, of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China. “We investigated whether a broad combination of healthy lifestyle habits could offset that dementia risk and found that people with diabetes who incorporated seven healthy lifestyle habits into their lives had a lower risk of dementia than people with diabetes who did not lead healthy lives.”

For the study, researchers looked at a health care database in the United Kingdom and identified 167,946 people 60 or older with and without diabetes who did not have dementia at the start of the study. Participants completed health questionnaires, provided physical measurements and gave blood samples.

For each participant, researchers calculated a healthy lifestyle score of zero to seven, with one point for each of seven healthy habits. Habits included:

a) no current smoking,

b) moderate alcohol consumption of up to one drink a day for women and up to two a day for men,

c) regular weekly physical activity of at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise,

d) seven to nine hours of sleep daily.

e) a healthy diet including more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish and fewer refined grains, processed and unprocessed meats.

f) being less sedentary, which was defined as watching television less than four hours a day, and

g) frequent social contact, which was defined as living with others, gathering with friends or family at least once a month and participating in social activities at least once a week or more often.

Researchers followed participants for an average of 12 years. During that time, 4,351 people developed dementia. A total of 4% of the people followed only zero to two of the healthy habits, 11% followed three, 22% followed four, 30% followed five, 24% followed six and 9% followed all seven.

People with diabetes who followed two or fewer of the seven healthy habits were four times more likely to develop dementia than people without diabetes who followed all seven healthy habits. People with diabetes who followed all of the habits were 74% more likely to develop dementia than those without diabetes who followed all the habits.

For people with diabetes who followed all the habits, there were 21 cases of dementia for 7,474 person years or 0.28%. Person-years represent both the number of people in the study and the amount of time each person spends in the study. For people with diabetes who followed only two or fewer habits, there were 72 cases of dementia for 10,380 person years or 0.69%. After adjusting for factors like age, education and ethnicity, people who followed all the habits had a 54% lower risk of dementia than those who followed two or fewer. Each additional healthy habit people followed was associated with an 11% decreased risk of dementia. The association between healthy lifestyle score and dementia risk was not affected by medications people took or how well they controlled their blood sugar.

“Our research shows that for people with Type 2 diabetes, the risk of dementia may be greatly reduced by living a healthier lifestyle,” Lu said. “Doctors and other medical professionals who treat people with diabetes should consider recommending lifestyle changes to their patients. Such changes may not only improve overall health, but also contribute to prevention or delayed onset of dementia in people with diabetes.”

A limitation of the study was that people reported on their lifestyle habits and may not have remembered all details accurately. Lifestyle changes over time were also not captured.


Good health and nutrition are important for everyone, irrespective of their age. However, the criticality of nutrition becomes more pronounced as one grows older. Ageing is known to bring about changes in the body such as loss of muscle mass, weak bones and reduced digestive capabilities. In a lot of cases, with advancing age, people experience loss of appetite and taste. The reduction in physical activities also reduces the daily calorie requirements of the body. It is therefore important to ensure that high-calorie foods are reduced. The focus must be on ensuring the intake of diets rich in nutrients instead.

Unhealthy food habits among the elderly can lead to obesity and increase in weight, making them vulnerable to various chronic lifestyle and age-related diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels and osteoporosis. In many cases, they develop sensitivity to certain foods like onions, spices and dairy products.

Various studies have revealed that over half of India’s senior-citizens (60+ years old) are victims of malnutrition and 9 out of 10 receive less than the recommended nutritional intake. The following are a few key dietary essentials for the elderly:

Calcium and vitamins

The elderly need an enhanced intake of calcium and vitamin D to maintain their bone health. Foods rich in calcium such as cereals, fruit juices, green vegetables, milk and fish, etc. are ideal sources for these two nutrients. Vegetarians should take supplements that contain Vitamin D. It is very difficult for them to receive the desired quantity of Vitamin B12. This deficiency can be met by consuming lean meat, fortified cereal, fish and seafood. However, it is a must to consult a dietary expert or a registered medical practitioner before taking supplements.

Potassium and fibre

The intake of potassium along with a reduction in consumption of sodium chloride (common salt) can be effective in bringing down blood pressure. Similarly, fibrous foods help in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Fruits, vegetables and beans are known sources of potassium and fibre needs can be met by consuming whole-grain bread, cereals, beans and peas, etc., along with fruits and vegetables.

Consumption of a healthy and balanced diet will also help tackle indigestion, diabetes, dehydration, constipation and various other such ailments among the elderly. They must also eat less salty, spicy and fried food and ensure that they drink an adequate amount of water.

Apart from their diet, some other tips that the elderly must follow to stay healthy include regular exercise; avoiding alcohol, tobacco or smoking; undertaking regular health check-ups and monitoring of sugar and blood-pressure; consumption of prescribed medicines; keeping stress at bay by doing yoga and meditation.

In conclusion

The population of the elderly is rising rapidly in India. According to the World Health Organization, the rise in the elderly population will create challenges for the healthcare sector in India. As per its records, India had about 7.7% elderly people in 2001, and the number is now estimated to be over 10% of the total population. The need of the hour is to understand their changing dietary needs with age and create awareness on maintaining adequate nutrition and fitness levels. As the Hon'ble Prime Minister recently mentioned, a stronger and healthier India is the key to global success, and our senior citizens need to become role models. This can only happen when their overall needs are met and they stay healthy.

This article has been authored by Dr. Vishal Sehgal, Medical Director, Portea Medical

bottom of page