Thursday, August 4, 2011

Better care than at home?

The other day I was able to visit an Old age home and was amazed at the care the inmates are getting.

It is a small venture run by a young widow, a trained nurse. She runs the institution in a small rented house.

She started by taking care of an old woman who was abandoned in the Hospital where she was working. She took the old lady to her house to take care. Soon the inmates began to increase.

Many were orphaned old women roaming around the streets, finally ending up in hospital wards. Some were abandoned by the family. Most of these women are in their 70s or 80s. They come from all parts of Kerala. They belong to many religions. Some are mentally not all right. Most of them are suffering from physical ailments. But it seemed all of them were happy living there.

Whenever I see old people as patients, I feel dissatisfied with the level of care they are getting in their homes. Medicines are never given as prescribed and doctor appointments are often delayed and missed. When the family is tight financially the old people's medicines are not bought for few days to weeks. Now this does not happen everywhere but in a large number of homes.

But I was happily surprised at the level of care given at this old age home. Though the inmates were only around 12 the nurse knew each and every detail of their ailments and medicines they were taking. They were given food and medicines in time. Their personal hygiene were well looked after. Whenever a doctor consultation is needed she will call me or someone else she know. She ensures doctor visits and sees the inmates at least once in 2 months.

The inmates were so happy to get such a level of care that they were not coming out to me with any physical complaint, though most of them were very ill.

Spending your last years in your house with the family taking good care of you is the best option any one can have. These women were not fortunate enough to get that. But they are lucky enough to have very good care and love during their final years, something many old people do not get even from their homes.


monsoon dreams said...

That's so wonderful.where is this place?

dr.antony said...

You are likely to see more such places ,doctor. Times have changed and all over the world,attitudes are changing.People adapt to western culture and practices so easily.
In gulf countries,which used to be very orthodox,old age homes are on the rise.The wards are full of old people who have been dumped and left there. I have patients who have been with us for more than six months.
Looking at it in another way,it is better for old people to live in such communities if their children do not find it convenient to take care of them.Some times it wouldn't be practical in the current life style when both partners are working.I know of some old people who have chosen to live independently,so that they can keep a healthier relationship with children than having constant arguments and neglect at home.

Indian Home Maker said...

This is a very good initiative and it's really fortunate that the inmates are being cared for by a trained nurse. I wish we had more such homes all over the country.

I also wonder how it would be if we had day care centers for old people the way we have for children.

Charakan said...

Monsoon dreams, Will tell u the address if you want by email

Charakan said...

Dr Antony,
Yes old age homes are needed and they are also becoming potentially lucurative business.
This venture is entirely run on doanations from generous people.All the inmates are poor and have no home to go back too.

Charakan said...

As joint family system declines care of the elderly becomes difficult at home. So day care/stay centers are needed.
Being a trained nurse this woman is doing a very good job.