Elder care: Jobs aplenty, but there’s no one to care

The Asian Age.  | Gokul MG

Life, More Features

Home care is at a premium, as senior citizens are struggling to fend for themselves in the lockdown

Representational image (Twitter)

As Covid-19 cases continues to soar, the physical and mental health of senior citizens is under severe threat, and home care and nursing services are receiving more enquiries than ever.

NRIs in particular have only such services to depend on to care for their parents back home.

P S Srikumar, CEO of Chennai-based elder-care service company Care Finder, says though the demand has increased, there is a shortage of home nurses. “This is definitely a worrying time for everyone, especially for elders.

This situation has also had a psychological impact on senior citizens. We are trying to assist them in day-to-day chores. But since the number of Covid-19 cases is increasing every day, the availability of home nurses is going down,” he says.

Many home care agencies are running with reduced staff, as people on their rolls had returned to their native places before the lockdown, adds Srikumar.

Dr Vasanth Karthikeyan, a consultant geriatrician at Geri Care, Chennai, says the demand for homecare services is rising, since many elderly people are stranded without help in the lockdown.

“Physically and emotionally they are affected because they can’t even step out of their homes. This has affected many young people, so you can imagine how it impacts the elderly,” he says. “Being away from their loved ones is also affecting them. And news reports about how the infection is mostly affecting the aged is contributing to their misery,” he adds. He says the lack of manpower is making the problem worse.

Another aspect is that many elders who are staying on their own are facing financial difficulties. Large online pharma companies have cut down discounts from 20% to 10%.

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