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Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Wanted" caregivers in India : primarily targeted at Alzheimer's patients.

A helping Hand

Featured in Harmony Magazine
March 2005

With the breakdown in traditional support systems and shortage of hospital beds, an increasing number of elderly require home care by professional caregivers. But is India equipped to provide it? Harmony looks for answers.

"After retiring as a nurse from Chennai Hospital in 1998, Suvedhna Murthy went back to Hyderabad to be with her family. A year later, her life was interrupted when her 86-year-old mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia and Murthy took on the task of caring for her. "The hospital couldn't keep her for too long, so I brought her home," remembers Murthy. She thought she had seen it all. But nothing prepared her for informal nursing at home.

Today, there is a persistent shortage of beds in long-term care facilities across India. The responsibility of caring for the ailing, then, often falls to a loved one. In Murthy's case, a nurse coming in for a few minutes to take her mother's blood pressure or a support worker visiting once a week just wasn't enough. She needed more help.

The rub of it is that home care isn't nine to five, Monday to Friday. It's about being on call 24/7. And while informal caregivers-usually family members-are ready to put their lives on hold, like Murthy, they just aren't able to cope. Sometimes, the only option is a professional caregiver-someone trained to take care of a dependent's daily needs, someone who feeds him, administers regular medication, takes care of sanitation and monitors mobility. For three years, Murthy did all that on her own, sacrificing her personal life, before her mother passed away in 2002"....

For more information on caregiving training institutes

All India Women's Conference
Indira Bhavan, Sector 11

Heritage Hospital
7-1-59/468 Opposite Indian Bank
Ameerpet, Hyderabad-500016.
Tel: 040-23379999, 23379201-5, 23736468, 23730202

Janseva Foundation
Indulal Complex, Shastri Road
Near Kakahalwai Sweetmart, Above Rupee Bank
Pune. Tel: 020- 24338787, 24319797.

National Institute of Social Defence
West Block 1, Wing 7, RK Puram
New Delhi-110066. Tel: 011-26100058.

Red Cross
Gandhi Nagar PO, Kottayam
Kerala. Tel: 0481-2560238, 2585338.

Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (Vimhans)
No. 1, Institutional Area, Nehru Nagar
New Delhi-110065. Tel: 011-26310510, 26310520.

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