In today’s fast changing social paradigm, there is need for separate, properly equipped old age homes with all types of facilities such as a worshipping place, medical facilities, ICU, ambulance, open walking green space, clean kitchen and a club with indoor games, amphitheatre and entertainment zone…
By Upasana Arora
Almost every other day, I get panic calls from some old people who either seek personal help in sorting out family tiffs or enquire about possibility of having a decent old age home as their own children are too busy in their personal lives and pressing daily chorus to spare some time for them. On several occasions, I grope for convincing answers but mostly in vain.
When we talk about geriatric care in India, it’s a very new concept. In Indian culture, elderly care has always been part of a family responsibility. But now society is changing giving way to advent of old age homes. One more reason is that average life span has extended substantially. Now people are looking after themselves properly and living for more years. So, it is the need of the hour that there should be a separate, properly equipped wing for looking after this age group.
The Government should take the initiative and private healthcare providers should also contribute in this task. First we should understand the needs of this age group: what are the common infrastructure they require and what kind of problems they are facing. And, which kind of ambience can give them comfort so that we can create places specifically for geriatric care. These sites should have complete care under one roof and patient and attendant should not feel neglected or lost.
Senior citizens are backbone of the society so the latter should create proper atmosphere for senior citizens where they should feel comfortable and respectable not neglected or humiliated.
If I talk about my dream I want to create a place where senior citizens should live together with all types of facilities like club, and worshipping places. And, there should be all medical facilities for them 24×7. If they can’t walk, a wheelchair, helper should be there. An intensive care unit should also be housed there so they can be treated immediately in case of any emergency. An ambulance should always be at their disposal.
On normal days, they should enjoy happy active life, even if anyone is on wheel chair and diapers, with other inmates and friends. There must be facilities of indoor games, open walking green space, entertainment –amphitheatre and clean kitchen.
The senior citizens are boon not bane for the society because they are have treasures of knowledge and experience that can guide us for years. Young and enterprising people should also come forward to make old care places so much comforting that the elderly themselves happily wait for their turn to be a proud occupant there.
(The author is Director, Yashoda Super Speciality Hospital, Kaushambi, Ghaziabad)