Sunday Anchor

Poor quality of care

Maharashtra has around 200 homes, with 40 in Mumbai and its suburbs. While a few are government-run, the majority is run by charities. Over 10 per cent the State’s population is aged above 60, higher than the national average of 8.5 per cent.

Also, the proportion in the 80-plus bracket is higher in Maharashtra than the national average.

John Mathew runs Mercy John Memorial Old Age Home, one of Mumbai’s largest with over 100 beds, funded by a private trust. “The police too depend on us to take in the aged destitute, for whom we set apart around 20 per cent of beds. We now have 22 such people,” said Mr. Mathew. He recalled an incident some years ago, when a famous former Ranji Trophy player suffered a stroke and was brought to Mercy John by his friends because his children refused to look after him. The cricketer stayed at the home till his death.

However, most of Mumbai’s homes are plagued by problems such as lack of financial resources, shortfall of care-givers, and poor quality of care. “The government has to play the role of both regulator and facilitator,” said S. Siva Raju, Professor and Dean at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He pointed out that welfare schemes are not enough either in scope or funding.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 1:18:58 PM |

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