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Updated: Dec 19, 2019

About a couple of months back a NRI doctor based out of England during his visit to Kolkata contacted Porosh. He wanted to avail Sneho package for his mother who was showing early signs of dementia. She was being taken care of by the maid who had been with them for the past 15 years or so.

The very next day Porosh visited the residence of the doctor to meet his mother. She was bed-ridden and wore an emaciated look with listless eyes. The doctor son seated next to her was gently caressing her forehand. However, hardly did she respond to any external stimulus. After initial interaction with us he enrolled for the package. Our duty started the very next day.

The initial few days were a bit challenging as the maid felt threatened by our presence. She felt that we were there to oust her from her job. Obviously, we were not getting much co-operation from her. On the contrary, we were greeted with suspicion which we chose to ignore. The focus was to ensure that the elderly lady recovered and led as normal a life as possible.

We engaged her in brain and music therapies. As weeks rolled into months there are visible signs of improvement. The smile is back on her face. She shares incidents from the past like her fondness for studies, Rabindra Sangeet and yes, the ethereal smile of Late Uttam Kumar.

Now the situation is such that she calls us up to enquire the time and date for our next visit. The maid no longer nurses any grudge against. Instead she participates in our adda session with mashima. We try as much possible to keep her in good humour.

The biggest satisfaction for us is the blessings we receive from her. We wish mashima a long and happy life.

On December 01, 2019 Porosh organized for the senior citizens of Golf Green an awareness programme on Dementia and Safety & Security. It was attended by approximately 165 persons.

Sri Aroop Biswas (Honourable Minister) was invited as the Chief Guest. Special Guest was Sri Tapan Dasgupta (Honourable Chairman and Councillor – Borough 10).

Dr. Prosenjit Sengupta (Neurologist) explained at length in a very lucid manner the symptoms and causes of dementia afflicting a sizeable proportion of senior people. Sri Ritodeep Mukherjee from ARDSI shared his experiences of dealing of dealing with dementia afflicted patients and how care is offered to individuals. However, both of them agreed on the fact that degeneration of dementia is irreversible. It can be checked through proper nurturance.

Sri Debatosh Basak (APC – South Suburban) also graced the occasion. He offered various tips to avoid inviting trouble on oneself unnecessarily.

As founding members of Porosh we have been providing home assistance to the elderly for quite some time now. In course of interaction with several elderly people and their children (who are not members of Porosh) we have observed a very common sentiment getting echoed when it comes to seeking help from professionally managed organizations for the elderly. It is thus - once the situation arises we shall seek help from the organizations specializing in elder care. One is left wondering when will that situation arise!

Our experience suggests that children of aged persons whose children stay away from them more often than not bestow the responsibility of well-being of their ailing parents on a close relative and/ or a maid. Obviously, trust plays a major role in taking such decisions. But the question remains, however well-intentioned it might be, are they competent enough to address critical issues other than performing a set of daily chores?

Let us share with you a couple of instances.

a) Recently we came across an elderly lady, suffering from dementia, bleeding from the mouth. When the situation turned for worse the perturbed son contacted Porosh. We deputed a trained nurse. Soon she realized that force-feeding by the maid led to several cut marks below the tongue. As this practice was continuing for quite some time the wound also refused to heal. Since the maid was not trained to deal with patients suffering from dementia she did what she thought was best by her own estimate. Not only that. Much to the dismay of the nurse, the elderly lady had also developed bed-sore about which the maid was clueless. Gradually the situation improved. So, professional help was sought only when the situation seemed to go out-of-control.

b) A couple of weeks ago we received a phone call from Baguihati. A person enquired if Porosh provided old age home service. Although we said no for an answer yet we asked if we could be of any assistance. Then the person told us that his father was becoming increasingly reckless and forgetful resulting in tension in the family. Therefore, a decision was taken to send him off to an old age home. To them it seemed to be the best solution. We realized that it was an early stage of dementia which could be contained only through love, affection and warmth. Being away from the family members would only aggravate it. We informed him that the need of the hour was a professional Caregiver. However, he seemed to be far from convinced and never got back to us again!

The purpose behind sharing the above incidents is to reiterate that wait and watch policy before a situation spins out-of-control is certainly not wise. An organization like Porosh is capable of stepping-in to contain such situations through timely intervention of trained professionals under its wings.

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