My theme this year is Caring for the Caregiver. My posts are based on my experience and are not meant to be a comprehensive guide on the subject. I would love to hear your experiences..
With each post, I am sharing a sketch that I have done as a means for stress busting.
While this is a vast topic, I shall be focussing on persons who are looking after their old or sick or terminally ill elders – this can be parents or other family members.
With modern medicine and improved diets, lifespan has increased which is not necessarily be accompanied by better quality of life. While some may be ‘sick’ others may have mobility issues which severely restricts their lifestyle. Memory – age related issues (Dementia) present a totally different set of challenges.
In my country, for some reason, old age homes have a taboo attached to them. Shifting one’s ‘wards’ there is considered as shirking one’s responsibility. The facilities themselves need huge improvement.
Yet they do exist. Some better than others.
Some are called Assisted Ageing Homes and offer a fairly dignified stay/care.
Some offer care for terminally ill or bed ridden patients.
A new concept in Pune, is day-care for elders.. meant for families with working professionals .. the elders can spend the day at the centre and return home at night. Just like day care centre for little ones.
Some centres in Pune:
DISCLAIMER: I have no vested interest in any of these. Some have been recommended to me, we have had acquaintances staying at some of these and some I have found via Google search.
Athashri Housing scheme by Paranjpe Schemes
Krishana Prabhu Old Age Home and Hospital, Parvati
Devtaru Old Age Home
Tapas Elder Care, at Baner and Aundh
ONP Silver Homes at Balewadi
Madhur Bhav at Pimple Nilakh and Nerhe
Some more facilities found by a google search.. not seen them personally:
Rainbow Day Care Centre
Ananddham Vruddha Virangula Kendra on Apte Road
Chaitanya Rehab Centre
So when does one consider such a ‘home’?
In my experience, it can be as a temporary measure when the care giver has to travel and there is no backup support. Or when it becomes impossible to look after the ‘wards’ at home.
I would suggest visiting such a centre before taking any decision.
Talk to the managing team, to some residents if possible. Find out what kind of food is served, entertainment and medical support. Check reviews online. Most important, check the financial implications as the cost for such a facility can be prohibitive. Then talk to other family members and the ‘wards’ themselves before making a final decision.
Like the care givers, the ‘wards’ need to accept the move to a ‘home’ and be happy about it. This takes time and is not easy.
There is no one size fits all solution.
Every family has to find something that suits them best.
Here is my first sketch that I have done on a newspaper handout.
Irrespective of the final sketch, drawing so many tiny lines helped focus my attention, throw out unwanted thoughts and generally helped calm me.
I would certainly advocate this for care givers!
See you tomorrow folks for the B post!