When we compare India to other countries, healthcare for the elderly leaves much to be desired. With the number of senior citizens over age 60 increasing in India, elder care is of primary importance.
Beautiful Years, nestled in a leafy neighbourhood in Koramangala, aims to bridge this gap by offering online and offline products and services that ensure the elderly are taken care of at home. Started in 2015 by Vladimir (Vladi) Ruppo, Beautiful Years, says co-founder Pavithra Reddy, was inspired by Ruppo's 85-year-old aunt. “She learnt computers and lived a secure life alone. This made Ruppo realise there weren't enough facilities for the elderly in India.”
A young Sourabh Chenni, who joined in 2015, shows me around the experiential store, where products displayed are latest innovations, from motorised wheelchairs to tablet organisers. “We also educate caregivers and help them understand the needs of the elderly,” says Sourabh.
There is no need for fancy products, though. Simple adjustments to the home is enough. “You can move around your furniture and change the lighting. You can increase cushion heights so that it is easier for the elderly to sit and get up, or buy harder cushions and add a grab rail or ramp to make movement easier,” says Sourabh.
Pavithra adds, “It is best not to move the elderly from a house they have stayed in for the last 40 to 45 years. That is why we give easy solutions that can be applied at home.”
Falls are among the most common problems for the elderly. “We have anti-slip solutions that last about three to five years. We apply a chemical coating on the tiles,” says Pavithra. Sourabh adds to avoid accidents, “Blind corners mustn’t be too sharp.”
Among their products are sleek wheelchairs, some with multiple functions. “Some wheelchairs are also water proof and rust proof. There are walking sticks with a light attached to it and an alarm for emergencies.” For those suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia, there are pendants and watches that come with a GPS tracking device. Pavithra says that the movements of the elderly must not be restricted. “If you keep them at home it leads to further mental deterioration.”
Beautiful Years also conducts activities for the elderly. “We tied up with Parkinson’s Society of Karnataka to have exercise, games and discussion forums. And had a session with the police on safety for the elderly,” says Pavithra.
The e-commerce portal has forums on elderly care, anti-ageing tips, besides products that can be ordered across the country. For details visit: goo.gl/c5KTmT