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Old age homes continue to struggle even as the threat of Omicron looms large

The elderly population is often the most ignored section of our society. Unable to make any significant contributions due to their advancing age, they are often unceremoniously discarded and forgotten by the community.

The lucky ones are able to make their way to the numerous old age homes that dot the landscape where they live out their twilight years. The less-fortunate ones are lost to sands of time. Heartbreaking as it sounds, this is the cold hard truth.

It, therefore, came as no surprise when the pandemic hit them the hardest. The plight of old age homes and their senior residents across the country was heart-rending. Most old age homes depend on charity and donations to keep their doors open. Curtailing of economic activities during the lockdown meant then most benefactors could no longer contribute as they had their own families to look after.

The rising cost of essentials was no help either. Faced with budget constraints, most homes resorted to rationing. The elderly need special care and nutrition to maintain their frail constitution. Needless to say, rationing subjected them to conditions many were unused to, taking a further toll on their already declining health.

VridhCare was one of the many non-profits that continued to work towards easing the problems faced by old age homes. By acting as a bridge, VridhCare was able to connect people who were still selflessly giving with the homes that were in dire need of funds. It was not just financial help. Many other organizations and individuals came through with material donations that gave some respite to the senior citizens.

The precarious position in which many old age homes found themselves during the pandemic highlights their vulnerability. Some were even on the brink of closing their doors! Thankfully, we have somehow prevailed and weathered the terrible storm. But there remains a lot to be done. Old age homes still suffer from neglect and indifference.

Most homes are struggling to provide good quality of life to their residents. Donations are pouring in again but this alone will not solve the problems.

Sensitizing the society to the difficulties faced by the elderly population and the homes they reside in should be a priority. Addressing the challenges faced by our senior citizens has to be a collective effort. The latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron, is already making the rounds. Now is the time to effect change before it is too late. Let us learn from our past and work towards a better future.

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