It was eight years ago that his two sons left K. Rajappan at the government care home at Chakka here promising to return after a week. Standing in the corridors of the newly built care home at Pulayanarkotta here, the elderly man says he holds no false hope of them keeping their promise. But he counts on one thing now: his life in the quaint and charming environs, for the new care home on a hillside has a panoramic setting with the picturesque Akkulam on the western side. And he is enthusiastic to share his views about the new home, inaugurated recently.
The newly built care home for the elderly under the Social Justice Department will be home to nearly 110 people, previously sheltered at the Chakka care home.
“Since the land was acquired by the airport authority, it was decided to set up a new care home here on 2.85 acres of land at an estimated cost of Rs.4 crore in 2010. Unlike the earlier home which had dormitories, each room here would accommodate three people,” says V. Jayakumar, superintendent of the home. A managing committee chaired by the District Collector ensures the smooth running of the centre.
The rooms are furnished and bath-attached with sufficient storage space. The care home has a spacious kitchen, dining hall, recreation hall with a seating capacity of 150 people, an ambulance, and a doctor’s room.
Once the first floor is completed, the care home would have a capacity to accommodate 150 people. These, according to Mr. Jayakumar, will soon get filled up.
“We are already getting phone calls from various families to know if there is any vacancy. Today, the lifestyle of the people has changed so much that leaving their parents at an old-age home has become a common thing even in this city,’’ he adds.
In fact, the care home at Chakka was previously a rehabilitation centre for prisoners, started in 1956 by the then Travancore king, which at a later stage became an old-age home to rehabilitate the increasing number of abandoned elderly people.
According to Assistant Director of the Social Justice Department K. Surendra Kumar, since there is difficulty in running the home with the limited number of staff members appointed by the government and the temporary staff appointed through Social Security Mission, 13 additional staff members have been brought in by the managing committee.
The care home has also received support from the public, who have contributed various kitchen equipment and furnishing products for the new home, he adds.