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In pursuit of worldly goals – personal and/ or professional – we need to work closely in association with individual(s) who may be known, or unknown. Therefore, when we undertake a journey of collaboration for achieving a goal the underlying belief is that the collaborator is trustworthy.

In the context of Porosh this is extremely relevant. With restrictions on travelling over the past six months and more so when it comes to international travel children of senior citizens who are staying alone in Kolkata often contact us. Obviously, they seek our help in rendering necessary medical and non-medical services for their parents. Many of them have enrolled with us as members during this period after speaking to us either over phone, or though video calls. Come to think of it, is it not strange? Normally, one would have expected them to meet us in person and visit our office to assess Porosh’s credibility. But no more. This is where an implicit trust on the organization and its members come into play.

One may contend that during such unprecedented times is there any other option? Quite true. But when within 2/ 3 months Porosh receives requests to shoulder additional responsibilities of running a household (from purchase of grocery to bank work) due to inability of the senior citizens to do so it means something more. We become accountable. So, from where does trust generate? We believe the answer lies in the values Porosh tries to live upto – honesty, agility, commitment and quality. Unless we walk the talk values will sound hollow and naturally, trust will be a casualty.

Elder care services in Kolkata is still in its nascent stage. Established and reputed organizations in the city are considered as torchbearers for providing services to the senior citizens of Kolkata in a professional manner. Such organizations have rendered yeomen service by making Kolkatans aware that old age is not a curse for those whose children are away from their parents due to professional commitments.

We in Porosh feel the number of concerns who are operating in this landscape are too few in number given the surging need for elder care services. However, it comes with a caveat. There is a high possibility that a few may be tempted to earn quick bucks by looking at it as a sound business proposition. As a result, the spirit of serving senior citizens will become a casualty. Needless to add, this will make them and their children wary of availing such services. That will indeed be unfortunate. So, what should be the approach? Porosh can share a few points based on its experience:

a) ‘Genuine’ personal touch works wonder

b) Promising less, delivering more

c) Honesty pays. It helps on winning confidence of the members.

d) Transparency in pricing the services (no hidden cost)

e) Designing packages in a manner which are easy to understand

f) Walking the extra mile during emergency

g) Treating members as one’s own parents

These are some of the basic principles, which if adhered to, can create a healthy ecosystem where the service providers and seekers can live happily and peacefully. Mutual trust can be fostered as well. Who knows it may turn Kolkata an ideal destination for the senior citizens to settle-down during the twilight years. Kolkata can very be a trend-setter.

Recently an article was published in the edition of ‘The Hindu’ on July 19, 2020. Divya Kala Bhavani, the contributor, observed, “People with COVID-19 often need oxygenation support.

Therefore, Pulse Oximeter, a staple for many doctors, has become something of a necessity for the layperson. Oximeters have been flying off the shelves for many households’ first aid kits, largely because they are non-invasive, low-cost, easy to use, and effective at detecting hypoxemia (low blood oxygen levels).” More than a month later the device is flying-off the shelves in no time.

She adds further, “There are two important readings: the pulse rate, recorded as beats per minute (60 to 100 is the safe range); and the oxygen saturation of haemoglobin in arterial blood, the reading of which is recorded as SpO2). Normal readings range from 95% to 100%; anything less, and the user should get medical assistance from a doctor. If your oximeter has alarms, atypical readings will set them off.” On a number of occasions while serving our members, we at Porosh, have first-hand experience that timely medical intervention based on oximeter readings saved a few seniors’ lives.

“The mechanism clips onto the user’s forefinger, though some oximeters have been known to be clipped onto one’s big toe or even the ear, depending on the model. According to the World Health Organization’s Pulse Oximetry Training Manual, one must use the oximeter with patience. Once clipped on, it requires about 10 seconds to get an accurate reading,” Divya contends. “One cannot use the pulse oximeter as a sole detector for any respiratory issues. It is only meant to give readings for a small time interval. When buying an oximeter, one must be wary of the brand names.”

There are oximeters selling on e-commerce platforms that will work for a month at most before giving out, and may cost as much as about ₹2,000.

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