A community of volunteers from different walks of life will offer their time and energy to support the needs of the elderly, reports Vaibhav Shastry

Old age can be tricky. Many suffer from physical ailments and their mental faculties begin to dim with age. They often need emotional and physical support, but don’t have their families living close by to offer that help. So many go to old-age homes, where they depend on newly acquired friends or neighbours for help. Others who cannot afford to live in these homes end up being isolated.

But a novel initiative thought of by a group of doctors working in the geriatric department in the city could make things a whole lot easier for the elderly. Parivu, a Senior Citizens Society which will be launched on September 29 will have volunteers from different age groups and various walks of life coming forward to take care of old people and their needs. These volunteers are spread across the city and will be available on call to help the elderly take care of activities ranging from the mundane to the urgent.

“The aim of Parivu is to help the elderly population with the activities they are unable to do on their own due to their age. This could range from everyday tasks such as grocery shopping and paying their utility bills to more serious issues like medical care or hospitalisation. ” says Rahul Padmanabhan, a consultant at the Geriatric Department of G. Kuppuswamy Naidu Memorial Hospital (GKNM) and one of the founders of Parivu.

The organisation plans to bring together volunteers from different walks of life. The city and its nearby suburbs will be divided into zones and each zone will have a group of volunteers. Through a custom-made software, volunteers will be sent a group message in case an elderly person from their area requires help. The first person to respond to the message gets in touch with the person needing help directly. Volunteers will also be trained by specialists on skills such as basic cardiac life support (BCLS), soft skills to communicate easily with the elderly, counselling and moving a frail elder person to an ambulance when the need arises. The training will be conducted on weekends over a period of two months.

The aim of Parivu is to help the elderly population with the activities they are unable to do on their own