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Home for elderly seeks inmates

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SHELTER FOR ELDERS: The Vridha Mandiram run by the Social Welfare Department in Thrissur. Photo: K.K. Najeeb
SHELTER FOR ELDERS: The Vridha Mandiram run by the Social Welfare Department in Thrissur. Photo: K.K. Najeeb

K. Santhosh

Persons above the age of 55 who have no one to care for can apply

Thrissur: The Vridha Mandiram (home for the elderly) run by the Social Welfare Department at Ramavarmapuram here seeks new inmates.

The Mandiram, which moved into a newly constructed building on February 24, can accommodate 100 persons (50 men and the rest women). It has only 17 inmates, all women, now.

Vridha Mandiram superintendent T. Susheela told The Hindu that persons above the age of 55 who have no one to care for could be taken to the Mandiram with relevant documents.

"We admit them immediately. The information given by the new inmates is passed on to the Regional Assistant Director, who in turn directs the District Probation Officers to inquire whether the details are true," she says.

The oldest inmate of the Mandiram is an 80-year-old woman. Most of the inmates have been abandoned by their relatives. "Lack of fixed income and loneliness are among the problems faced by the inmates. We do our best to bring smiles back on their faces,'' Ms. Susheela says.

The Government allots Rs.450 a month for the care of each inmate. An additional Rs.500 is allotted for the health care of each inmate. A physician from the District Hospital visits the Mandiram every week and examines the inmates. The Mandiram has a library and a TV set.

"Some watch television. We encourage them to be active. Some of them are fond of gardening," Ms. Susheela says.

The Mandiram, established on October 15, 1998, has nine staff members. "We can accommodate more inmates. Yet, we will be happy if people care for their parents and grandparents and do not send them to the home for the elderly. Love of their relatives is what people need in their twilight years," Ms. Susheela says.

Those who wish to be an inmate of the Mandiram may contact its superintendent (mobile telephone number: 9447352923).

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