Old age homes in city battle isolation, fund crunch

As is the case across the world, it is the elderly persons in the city who are most affected by the coronavirus – in more ways than just infection and fatalities.
Representative image
Representative image


The senior citizens at old age homes in and around the city are struggling financially and psychologically, as many of the sponsors and donors have stopped making any contributions in the last two months.

With school children and donors no longer being able to visit the old age homes since the lockdown was imposed, the elderly persons have also been affected mentally, said home in-charges, adding that they try to keep them engaged by doing some work or playing indoor games.

“Earlier, many people visited the home and donated things to the inmates. But for the last two months, there have been no visitors. And donations have also reduced so it has become a bit difficult to run the home with what we have. We are unable to cook what the inmates like, as we could not get the required things on our own. So, whatever we get through some people, we cook and serve the senior citizens,” said Dr Jannet, who runs Charu Home for Aged at T Nagar.

Jannet, who is also a psychologist, said school kids used to visit them every month, which made the senior citizens happy and active. “But since the lockdown was imposed, it affected them psychologically. So we try to keep them engaged by playing indoor games, clean their own place, and some even help in cooking,” she said.

Struggling financially, the managements of many old age homes are worried whether the senior citizens would develop health issues without proper food. “There are more than 150 inmates here, but there is no donation for our home. Without that, it has become difficult to manage the home. We have asked for donations. But because many do not have income in this situation, they are unable to help us. We are managing with the money we have now. But in the coming days, it would be difficult to manage,” said Sr Rose Thomas, who is in charge of Mercy Home in Kilpauk.

The homes are taking safety precautions to ensure that the senior citizens do not contract the infection. The homes are disinfected thrice every day and are not allowing visitors or take food from outsiders.

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