India has an acute shortage of elder care and assisted living facilities for senior citizens. Queency Raichada checks out an initiative to bridge this gap !
Four years ago (2010), we wrote about Silver Innings Foundation and its not-for-profit initiatives to help senior citizens on a variety of issues. A lot has happened since. Sailesh Mishra has set up A1 Shehanjali, the social enterprise of Silver Innings (now a registered trademark), an assisted living elder care home for people suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s and the very old.
It is a tough job and the soft spoken and affable Mr Mishra, founder of Silver Innings, a social enterprise, and Silver Innings Foundation, an NGO, is the first to admit it. “It isn’t as easy as advising people about how to care for elders; all you need to keep in mind is to make it a home with a heart,” he says.
Mr Mishra created this home after six years of running Silver Innings which helps and guides senior citizens on all aspects of their lives. A1 Snehanjali finally started in August 2013. Snehanjali, means a gift of affection and this is what he tries to inculcate in the care of elderly residents at its scenic Nalasopara (west) care-home, 50km from Mumbai. “At A1 Snehanjali, our mission is to help elders and their family members to overcome the challenges of ageing and show them the way to transform lives to mitigate loneliness, helplessness and boredom and live with dignity in their silver years.”
The home admits those above 55 suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and those who require assistance but NOT constant medical intervention provided by nursing homes. A1 Snehanjali follows a lengthy admission process to ensure that elders who come to their home are not dumped. A1 Snehanjali’s counsellors visit the homes of the elderly to find out more about them and their family situation before admission. According to Mr Mishra, 36 admissions were rejected on suspicion that they were cases of dumped, third stage of Alzheimer’s and who required nursing care. A1 Snehanjali insists on monthly visits by the resident’s family after admission. “We do not want to encourage people to be a part of our home if they do not really require it,” he says. At the moment, A1 Snehanjali has five residents.
It provides facilities like provision of nutritious food, medication management, bathing and dressing, incontinence care, weekly medical check-up and transportation for doctor visits, three vegetarian meals a day, laundry services, TV and music and 24×7 access to the attending staff.
It also offers a ‘respite stay’ of one to three months on payment of a deposit and costs.
“We live in a society which has replaced nani (maternal grandmother) with NANNY. We need to empower society to Engage the ‘Age’ing by showing the youth a mirror of their own future, says Mr Mishra. He hopes to achieve this by encouraging young people to volunteer, act as change-makers and to make donations to help it function smoothly.
Donations to the Silver Innings Foundation are exempt under Section 80-G of the Income Tax Act.
A1 SNEHANJALI Elder Care Home
Marciana Bungalow, D’silva Nagar, Nala Village, Nalasopara West, Taluka Vasai, Dist. Thane, Maharashtra – 401203
Contact No : 91+9323919145
Email Id: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com