India and Free ElderCare

There are many problems associated with aging and one of them is the high cost of care.  One organization that is trying to compact this in in India is the NGO Health Action by People (HAP) in conjunction with the Hindustan Latex Family Planning and Promotion Council and monetary aid from the Kerala Academy for Skill Excellence.

The Kudumbashree Mission launched ‘Harsham-Happiness Redefined’, to ensure care for aged people ‘at a time when they need it most’ simultaneously providing jobs for approximately a thousand women.  The idea is that groups will be formed with approximately 100 volunteers each to assist the elderly who live alone (or under difficult circumstances) with support. Once these volunteers have collected client data, they will go visit them to see what services they can offer. Community Development Societies and Area Development Societies (CDS-ADS) will play a part in this by gathering information about the callers.  As S Harikishore, Executive Director of Kudumbashree explained:

“The local bodies have already initiated a palliative care project as part of the state government’s welfare programmes aimed to turn Kerala into an elderly-friendly state. Many aged people, who are bedridden, have been receiving care under the project. But shortage of volunteers and employees is still a major hurdle, and many needy people have been denied care in time.”