Assisted Life……………

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concept.jpgThere have been significant changes in the seniors living at their twilight years in India. The changes have taken place within a decade due to over turn of social structure and bullish economy of the country. The requirement of economy of the country. The requirement of product drives the entrepreneurs to a new business.
The “Old Age Home” carried a stigma along with it and not many people were keen to shift at Old Age Home fearing they will be looked down upon in the society. Sentimental attachment with the children also prevented the old man of the house to shift to Old Age Home and they continued to stay with children sacrificing their living comforts.
Innovative ideas of the builders brought a change in the product keeping space with social changes and economical bullishness which gave birth to “Retirement Resorts” in many parts of the country.
The law of nature makes the seniors to suffer from geriatric diseases. Leave aside dialectic, highper tensions etc which are very common in nature, Alzheimer, Osteoporosis, Paralysis, Arthritis and general decay in seniors health have become a serious threat to their peaceful living. 
In the modern nucleus family norms it is becoming difficult for the young in the house hold to render adequate care and support to the senior citizens.
In good old days responsibility of such care giving was rested with the women folks at home as they generally remained at home but in today’s scenario where the young husband and wife are mostly working, it is increasingly difficult to do full justice as care giver.
Such patients in addition to nursing care also require company of human being which is mostly not feasible in a small family. Senior citizens also experience a fear of uncertainty and such emergencies which may happen when seniors are alone at home and that haunt them continuously.
The comfort buying is a new phenomenon which has grabbed the Indian society now. We can see all around us that there is a competition on comfort buying. Be it a latest model car, best of apartments in a posh location at an awesome price or going out on a holiday tour to Europe or America. The root cause of affluence is availability of disposable sum with the people.
The desire to live a comfortable retired life which till recently was suppressed by the senior citizens due to affordability factor, is no more a problem. If they cannot, their children are making it affordable with their fat pay packets.
The necessity of providing long term medical care and providing support services were thus felt and taking the clues from Europe and America where such services are easily available, some NGOs and builders in India ventured out on this path.
The present longevity of Indians is 64 years, expected to go northwards to 70 years by 2025. The general consciousness about health, availability of medical facilities and improvement on health research have contribution tremendously in keeping Indians alive for longer years.
Decaying of health is a natural process and all elderly people have to go through the process. Assisted living facilities will provide the support to accept this natural phenomenon gracefully.
One needs to understand that Assisted Living Centres are not hospitals and they do not treat diseases. These are residential places where care and support are given to lead life with dignity at a cost. The aim of providing these services should be to improve the health condition of the seniors with love and care.
The medical care is a part of support services which would include medication, first aid services and general well being of the residents. People having disabilities due to diseases will be provided support services while taking bath, in use of wheel chair, making beds, cleanliness and washing of clothes etc. If we need to understand this, the right equation will be 30 percent medical support and 60 percent other support services.
In case of medical emergency, the person will have to be admitted in hospital. While the medical support will involve in house treatment for normal ailments like fever, indigestion, health check up, administration of medicine etc. the support services will include serving meals, house keeping of living area, helping to take bath, toileting, attending calls, washing of clothes and bed linens and other services for day to day living. The seniors residing in Assisted Living Centre are generally divided into categories of full support required on the medical advice and charged accordingly.
The Dignity Foundation near Pune has facilities basically for dementia cases but they are located in isolation. They have moderate arrangements of care giving. Some medical practitioners in Gurgaon and an NGO in Delhi have opened up Assisted Living facilities in small scale and doing well. Maa Assisted Homes in Faridabad and Sukhijeevan in Bhopal are new addition in the list.
In South of India, such centers have come up in Bangalore and a Centre in Kochi is nearing completion.
What more important for such kind of services is trained manpower. Young and energetic youth with a bend of mind to serve others should be screened and trained under competent guide to handle seniors with respect and dignity.
It is logical that some seniors who are living in retirement homes will require assistance at some point of time when they will be incapable of doing their daily rituals. Paralysis or dementia, no one knows when they will attack.
The other geriatric problems along with normal decay in health will certainly make seniors think towards assistance living. Therefore, the retirement homes must have assisted living facilities to cope up with such eventualities. The seniors, who are not living in retirement home, should also be allowed to avail such facilities for living comforts at a cost.
With the passage of time, the seniors need to realize that they should not be a burden to their children at old age. The alternate arrangement for their living in twilight years must be planned out for their own comfort and ease of their children. The coziness, warmth, love and care with technological support will perhaps be available more easily at retirement homes than elsewhere.


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