For many, the old age is a joyous occasion. It gives the bliss of spending quality time with ones children and grandchildren. The post-retirement life looks like a road filled with abundant family time in the hope that last few decades of life are spent without any hassles. Although the reality hits soon, and everything is not as perfect as promised. Many elderly find that post-retirement life is dull, monotonous. Occasional visits to children living in faraway lands only bring momentary joy. In addition to this, children realize that very soon their parents will not be able to climb stairs, cook for themselves, or walk down the road. Although they might like to take on the role of a full-time caretaker themselves, the demands of daily life do not allow them to do so. Balancing work and family with responsibilities takes a toll.
The hesitation and doubts about alternative living in India are still there. The distinction between the types of alternative living is blurred and often gets overlapped. Here are some alternatives options ranging from assisted living to care-taking services to identify the need for the elders and services that could be availed. Assisted Living Homes are designed for those who are no longer able to live on their own but do not require constant medical care. These homes provide assistance with medical facilities, assistance with daily living activities, preparation of meals and housekeeping. Residents live here in their own apartments and are provided with assistance whenever required. This ensures that the independence of ageing parents is maintained without putting them at unnecessary risk. The cost range depends upon the size of the apartment, and the level of assistance required.
The Dignity Lifestyle Retirement Township, based in Mumbai, is enriching lives of senior citizens through their assisted living project. Nursing Homes are established with the purpose of providing around-the-clock medical and nursing care for the elders who have complicated medical conditions and require the highest level of medical attention. Typically, services are available for twenty-four hours, and few may provide short-term rehabilitative facilities. These include skilled nurses, on-call doctors, and other old age support.
The Palliative Care Unit of Madhurbhav Old Age Home, Pune provides specialized care in dealing with ailments such as Alzheimer, post-operative care, paralysis and cancer care. At-Home Health Care is perhaps the most known living option in India. This alternative makes it possible for the elderly to stay in their homes and still receive daily personal care. It largely involves providing assistance with bathing, dressing, and meal preparation, transportation, paying bills, etc. India Home Health Care, with branches across South India, provides old age support care for those who require it round the clock. The cost largely depends upon the number of hours, and the level of services required by them. Independent Living is designed for those elderly who require little or no assistance with daily activities.
Delhi-based Ashiana Housing was the first to create such community for seniors. Residents have the luxury to live in fully equipped private apartments. Also known as retirement communities, they provide ample recreational opportunities, and a safe space to form social relations with other same age people. The alternative living situation in India is still work in progress and change in the skeptical mindset will happen gradually. Important is to come together to provide our elders better services and care in their golden years. The best choice will depend on parents health care needs, financial resources & collective, conscious decisions.
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