A Blog for Senior Citizens by a senior citizen. Most posts are written by me and others are relevant news items. Emphasis on India. As posts could be made in quick succession, please see the Index (Archive) to see earlier ones. If you comment I won't lament.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
IT IS A LONG WAIT FOR OLD-AGE HOMES IN AHMEDABAD
For spurned elders, it's a long wait for old-age homes
Ahmedabad Bhagwan Patel is 80 years old. He walked into "Jeevan Dhara", an old-age home on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on September 25, alone, and booked his final stay.
So full was this home that he returned to his village Peepli in Patdi taluka of Surendranagar with a token number — 41. The home authorities gave him this waiting list number and said it would take at least three months before there was a vacancy.
Ahmedabad has around 35 old-age homes and the list of people waiting to get accommodation there is growing. The increasing number of elders who are being spurned with growing nuclear families has become a matter of concern as the world celebrates "International Day of Older Person" on October 1.
Similarly, Bhagwat Shah (70) is number 30 on the waiting list of "Jeevan Dhara" home located in Lambha village outside Ahmedabad. Shah belongs to city's Ramol area and registered his name on June 12, 2011. The home gave him a five-month waiting period.
Jeevan Dhara has 30 inmates of which 10 are women. This home has one of the longest waiting lists of 45.
"Mostly, we have inmates who were thrown out of their house by their daughter-in-laws. The total strength of 'Matru Griha' is 66. We are running houseful and 15 aged women are on our wait list," said Anita Bhatt, the rector. She says the home takes no fee but the women contribute their services to the running of the home.
Jeevan Sandhya has 183 inmates of which 99 are women. Its trustee, Pharsu Kakkad, echoed Bhatt, saying most of them had been thrown out of their homes by their children.
"I'm here since 11 years. I came because it was my choice to leave the house. There were daily quarrels and my daughter-in-law did not want me to stay. I have three sons and one daughter. My sons never come to meet me but my daughter does. I think there shouldn't be any old-age home," said Rambha Trivedi, an 80-year-old inmate in Jeevan Sandhya.
Draupadi Manglani is 73-year-old and she has registered her name in Suvarna Mandir and is fourth on the waiting list. Her Dubai-based son booked her a place here because he cannot take her along. Manglani might have to wait two to three months to get admission in this home with 70 inmates and a waiting list of 10.
"We have around 34 women and 36 men. I think the old-age homes are necessary because there are elders who willingly come to stay here. Also, there are elder people whose kids are abroad. Though they have a bungalow to stay, but they can't live there for the fear of break-ins and other dangers," said Mahendra Goswami, the manager in Suvarna Mandir.
Krishnanand Kuniyal, a senior executive in NGO Help Age India, said, "The only way to cut down this waiting period is to provide counselling to people. Proper education should be provided to them so that they don't separate from their parents. We conduct workshops and try to educate people, especially young children."