MARGAO: It was 10.30 am on Monday. The old age home at Margao run by the Provedoria was in receipt of a request from a family from Shiroda to explore the possibility of admitting an elderly woman at the centre.
It’s an open secret that the old age home at Margao has reached a point of saturation. Somehow, the officials managed to accommodate the elderly woman at the old age home despite the constraints.
Even as the Provedoria on Monday inaugurated the old age home at Chinchinim with a provision for 40 inmates, Director Vinayak Volvoikar has raised a bigger question -- any number of old age homes will still fall short to cater to the growing requirements if people do not change their mindset and take care of the elderly at their homes.
Volvoikar conceded that the old age homes have reached a stage of saturation, but raised a pertinent question – society will have to stop the present trend amongst Goans to keep their elderly parents and grandparents at the old age homes. “Goa’s total population is pegged around 15 lakh and the population of elders is showing a rising trend. If the elderly want to come to the old age homes, we would encounter a big problem to accommodate the elderly”, he said.
He added: “We have to imbibe the principles of humanism and change our attitude towards the elderly. Right from the school level, we have inculcate the values of humanism amongst the children to take care of their parents and grandparents. We have to change our views and treat senior citizens with compassion. If we do so, we will find an answer to the present trend of more and more elderly seeking accommodation in the old age homes”.
Special arrangements made for the elderly
Replying to a question on the Margao old age home, Volvoikar said “Yes, today it was full. But, we accommodated an elderly woman from Shiroda at 10.30 am. After seeing the ground reality, we arrange beds at the existing old age homes to accommodate those in need of shelter.”
Saying that the Margao old age home will undergo renovation in the next one year and half, Volvoikar said, "We have started shifting the women inmates and the home will be vacated by December. The Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) will take up the renovation the Margao Old age home. It will take around a year and half to renovate the old age home."