Growing old – it is an inevitability that most of us are apprehensive about, and it’s a prospect that appears all the more daunting in present times since the prevalent nuclear family norm has led to older people dwelling alone and leading lonely lives.
ElderAid Wellness, founded in Bangalore in 2015 by Santosh Abraham and Dr. Vandana Nadig Nair, aims at changing the scenario by helping elderly people live their lives to the fullest. In this interview, Abraham speaks to us about what inspired the inception of the company, what challenges they faced and what are some of the most rewarding experiences they’ve had along the way.
What sparked the idea for ElderAid?
“The idea and inspiration for ElderAid came from our own personal experiences and the struggle we face when trying to coordinate with friends and extended family when there is any emergency back home with our elderly parents,” says Abraham. “I have had real life experience of being on the other side of the table which has helped us to understand the service model and delivery.”
Abraham and Nair started the company after extensive research on how to provide holistic geriatric care to senior citizens, and meeting their health, wellness and lifestyle needs.
What are the challenges that elders and caregivers face?
“One of the biggest challenges have been the mind set of people,” says Abraham. “For most people, eldercare is only associated with health and nursing care, while at ElderAid we are trying to help senior citizens improve their quality of life by providing them with wellness, concierge and health care services at their homes.
“Another obstacle is that most people who are 75 and above have not really planned for a retired life, hence some of them are financially dependent on their kids, which limits their spending and eagerness to try new things.”
How do you feel about the way ElderAid has helped thousands of elderly men and women?
Abraham says that just seeing the positive impact of simple activities on the elderly is hugely rewarding.
“When we are able to get some of the elderly couples to come out of their houses, to malls, movies etc where they haven’t been at all or haven’t for a while, this impacts them in a very positive manner and it helps them in their overall health, especially mental health.
“After being in the corporate sector for close to 25 years these has been the most rewarding in terms of job satisfaction,” he concludes.
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