JFA Appeal: The Need for Quality Carers for the Elderly

Ankul Goswami laments the lack of qualified carers for the elderly in Assam, but is upbeat about how the JFA finds a positive way to help address the void and also benefit another cause in the same effort. The JFA is appealing to all for donations to help this cause. Editor Nironkush Rick Das elaborates on Ankul’s message.

Over the years many of us have left home to build a career elsewhere. Cities around the world have become our homes, but we continue to stay in touch with our parents. As we grow older (and hopefully wiser), our parents age even further and before long, we need to worry about their care. There are many among us with parents aged 70 years or more and they can begin to face an increasing number of challenges while going about living their daily lives. Suddenly, climbing that staircase becomes a mammoth task. A light fall causes a broken leg. You get the idea.

In most of the developed world, we see well established services dedicated to the care of the elderly. Tranquil retirement homes staffed with qualified carers abound. Public services feature elderly-friendly facilities. But there are other parts of the world where much thought is yet to be given in this regard. In that second league, Assam certainly takes a back seat.

The elderly among the population is on the rise but there is a serious dearth of qualified carers. This is an increasing worry, especially for families unable to give constant personal attention to their elderly parents because work keeps the bread-earner elsewhere. While these families definitely love and support their parents back in Assam financially or otherwise, finding carers qualified to cater to the elderly are hard to get hold of, definitely a cause for great concern. This is a common concern echoed by such families no matter where they are, be it Bangalore or Houston.

The JFA explored the matter further and found several interesting facts. On the one hand there is the acute shortage of reliable, well-trained, sympathetic carers for the elderly. On the other hand, many a young girl does step forward, keen to embark on a career of geriatric care or gather some experience and move on to become medical nurses. All in all, a shortage of carers should not have resulted.

So why the shortage? Because, not only are there few such courses available, but also most aspiring candidates are girls from extremely poor backgrounds and cannot afford course expenses. As a charity, the JFA realised that in helping some of these girls achieve their dreams, not only would there be more carers, but – more importantly – the JFA would be uplifting a few promising individuals out of abject poverty.

Our Work

The JFA takes immense pleasure in sponsoring five extremely talented, bright individuals to train and qualify as home carers. As of this writing, they are being trained rigorously by a uniquely gifted individual of Guwahati – physician Dr Mrs Deepali Kayal Mahanta. The candidates were selected in line with JFA’s underlying philosophy that they all come from a background of extreme poverty or are victims of terror, but clearly demonstrate a hunger for learning and making a positive contribution to society through their actions. Once they graduate, they will be able to take up work to earn at least INR 5000 a month, well enough to sustain their families.

The Appeal

The five sponsorships have almost entirely met from the pockets of the JFA’s Steering Committee Members. But if you find this matter appealing or sensitive to you and your families, we invite you to join us. Help us sponsor more talented girls become trained carers for the elderly. Please Donate whatever you can. You will receive dual satisfaction in helping the elderly and uplifting someone from poverty. Successful candidates will be honoured on our website for all donors or visitors to see. As a future plan, the JFA intends to set up a database of qualified, talented nurses with the opportunity to be contacted. Should you think an individual is a good fit for a certain senior citizen, you will be able to contact her and potentially help her find employment. Together we can make difference.

Please use the PayPal button to make an online contribution. Remember, the JFA is a registered Charity in the UK, so if you are a UK Tax Payer, please mention reference number XT29854 when making your online contribution, to help us claim back tax on the Donation under the UK Gift Aid Scheme.

Subhash (Ankul) Goswami – SCM JFA. Edited by Nironkush Rick Das – SCM JFA.