SEARCH

Cities » Chennai

Updated: October 19, 2010 02:37 IST

Companionship to overcome old age blues

Liffy Thomas
Comment (1)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Two is company: Peers in the same age group could be great companions for the elderly, say experts. Senior citizens take a morning walk at Anna Nagar Tower Park in Chennai.
Photo: M. Vedhan Two is company: Peers in the same age group could be great companions for the elderly, say experts. Senior citizens take a morning walk at Anna Nagar Tower Park in Chennai.

For senior citizens who are lonely, many a time it is another elderly person who is seen as the best companion

They are a phone call away and ready to accompany the elderly to the hospital, play a game of chess or simply give company for a few hours.

Life may become drab and lonely for some who are old and many a time it is another elderly person who is seen as the best companion. Quite a few non-governmental organisations are realising this when they get requests from different age groups to volunteer for the senior citizens.

“We need more volunteers but we are keen on getting more senior citizens as they understand the feelings of their peer group better,” says A.R. Sreeja, General Manager, Dignity Foundation, Chennai.

The organisation working for the elderly has nearly 30 volunteers enrolled with them for ‘companionship’ service they offer, but the 20 who are active are all above the age of 50.

For Lakshmi Anand (73), sometimes the request call comes from Dignity Foundation, but she also goes on her own, for such is the rapport she has created over the years.

“Going for a stroll, having a cup of tea or buying medicine, listening to them of all…these are some of the requests I get,” says Ms. Anand, who spends one to two hours with them.

HelpAge India also offers a similar kind of service where they get at least six calls a week. Most sought-after requirements include accompanying one to the hospital, going to a temple or listening to an emotional outburst, say representatives of HelpAge India. It currently has 35 active volunteers in the 30-50 age group, and is working out different campaigns to see if such volunteer groups could be created in every locality.

Other organisations such as Senior Citizens Bureau had such companionship service but members say they discontinued it as it became difficult to sustain it as either the time doesn’t suit the volunteer or distance becomes an issue. School and college students used to volunteer for us, but as they finished their schooling, there are no juniors to continue, said M. Singaraja, a member.

RELATED NEWS

Liffy ThomasJune 28, 2012

This is a wonderful service that we can extend to senior citizens. I, for one, would like to do this kind of simple help to fellow citizens once I return to India and settle down for good. I can see how old and lonely people would appreciate such gestures.

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Oct 19, 2010 at 05:30 IST
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

ChennaiConnect Newsfeed

Get a taste of Sindhi delicacies at Shri Siddhi Vinayak Sweets, which has outlets in Kilpauk and Egmore »


September 18, 2014 Tangedco has planned to carry out an emergency shutdown at MRC Nagar substation between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday for replacement of breakers. The area... »

Crime

Society

Health


O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in Chennai

Fast, demos mark protest against Jayalalithaa conviction

Leading the protests was the Tamil film fraternity that is on a fast opposite the State Guest House in Chepauk. »