Ageing with Care
Challenges of geriatric care and options available…
When I wrote about young moms at the workplace and maternity policies, I said that the next growing concern is geriatric care. Those who raised us and took care of us are now in need of our support to age with ease. It’s the cycle of life you may say, what’s different now that generations before us haven’t faced. To start with… nuclear families with the elderly staying alone, working couples with limited time after work and kids, careers taking families far away from ‘home’ and lifestyle changes leading to increased medication and ailments and increased lifespan.
By 2020 senior citizens will be 12% of our population (and 20% by 2050) and India will have the second highest population of elderly. Every child living away from their elderly loved ones dreads the call that someone is ill or had a fall or needs to go to the doctor. Thankfully more and more support systems are emerging. The Silver Surfers are also more financially independent, technology savvy and open to new ideas than previous generations.
Featured in App Snaps is SeniorShelf, an amazing collection of elderly aids for daily needs and emergencies. They are a marketplace of all items that are designed to make life easier or add some bit of comfort and luxury. Born out of the founder’s personal experience of having to search for over four hours for a medical shop that sold a simple machine to measure his mom’s blood pressure, SeniorShelf aims to bring all elderly needs to one place and help the family order and make it available to them even though they may be living elsewhere. Daily living aids (walking sticks, walkers, cushions, toilet accessories, etc) to Hearing aids to Wheelchairs to various bedroom and bathroom safety items. You can also search by medical condition for example diabetic care or orthopaedic care or respiratory ailment etc.
Health Care Services at Home
When someone falls ill, a family typically needs to go to multiple places to address different health-care needs — routine checkups at the clinics, surgery and procedures at a hospital, diagnostics tests at specialised labs, medical equipment for purchase or rent from hard-to-find dealers and maybe hunt for speciality medicines.
Services like Portea (again founded after a personal experience/struggle and sensing a market need) is a co-participant and fully invested in the entire family’s healthcare needs. They offer a full suite of services from at-home care including physiotherapy and medical equipment on rent to lab tests and consultations with doctors. They also offer nurses or trained attendants at home.
Several such options are up and running with such a patient care model — India Home Healthcare, Unique Home Care by Apollo, Healers and Home and Nightingale’s. Some smart start-ups even offer services like a care package where they will visit your relative say twice a week, spend some time with them, buy the groceries they need and report back to you on their health and wellness!
Frequently called “old age homes” in India, assisted living homes provide housing and care for seniors who require help with day-to-day living but not yet in need of 24X7 medical attention. Assisted Living is also known as senior living, elder care, nursing home, etc. They can live in safe communities with nursing care, social activities, nutritious meals, housekeeping, and many other services. The homes are elder friendly with all amenities like air conditioning and power-backup. Such beautiful spaces are hugely popular in Coimbatore, Pondicherry, Pune, Gurgaon, Kolkata and many more places. The elders can have their privacy yet be taken care of and families can visit them as often as they want. Epoch Assisted Living in Gurgaon and Pune, India Home Health Care in Chennai, Bangalore and Pune and Deep Probeen Porisheba in Kolkata to name a few.
Hope you find this useful to take care of your ageing loved ones!