Ahmedabad old age homes are seeing more inquiries amid COVID-19 pandemic
Homes for the elderly in Ahmedabad are witnessing an increased number of inquiries for availability of facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The inquiries started rising since the lockdown, says a report in news agency ANI. Financial crisis and a fear of the elderly being susceptible to the infection, are the two main reasons why families are looking for homes for their aged family members, say owners of the old age homes.
"Our old age home has been getting a number of inquiries and each day we get a lot of phone of calls. When I asked some of them, they said they have small children at home and since the elderly people can get infected easily, so sending them to an old age home can help protect other members of the family," owner of an old age home told news agency ANI.
Another owner of a senior citizens' facility, Suketu Nagarwadia said, "There have been more inquiries about vacancies in our home. We are full and can not take in more people. Many people have lost their jobs or are facing financial crisis and this has led to an increase in the number of inquiries."
Maintaining social distance is also another issue with the families, say the old age home owners. "Some families live in small houses where it is difficult to maintain social distance. It is a problem for them. As a result we have had many people contacting us for rooms but we had to decline as we have full occupancy and cannot take in more people," Mr Nagarwadia said.
Gujarat: Managers of old age homes in Ahmedabad say more people are contacting them amid #COVID19. CEO of an old age home says, "Many people think that old people can get infected easily, so if they send them to old age homes other family members will remain safe." (13.07.2020) pic.twitter.com/b6Oqf1W5Ge— ANI (@ANI) July 13, 2020
Gujarat is fourth on the list of COVID-19 cases after Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. The state has recorded 42,722 cases and 2,055 deaths so far, according to the health ministry data.
Old age homes are already facing crisis with incomes shrinking due the economic impact of the lockdown. Many old age homes have been forced to trim their budgets for essentials such as rations and medicines and some fear they could be looking at closure if the situation worsens. "Old age homes, especially the smaller and mid-sized ones, have traditionally depended on donations from local philanthropic individuals and business communities. With the lockdown and economic recession, the same has totally dried up," HelpAge India CEO Mathew Cherian told news agency Press Trust of India.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)