Aging is a time of multiple illnesses and general disability. Besides an increased level of illness, the aging process itself leads to certain disabilities such as low vision and blindness resulting from cataracts, deafness resulting from nerve impairment or diabetes, loss of mobility from arthritis, cortical abnormalities with malignancies and a general inability to care for oneself. Even the well cared elders will fall sick often because of age, but if they are neglected by their own relations and left on the streets, where do they go? Who will take care of them? How will they lead the rest of their life?
With this great apprehension towards the destitute elders Bethany Asram of Ranni - Perunadu established Prathyasa Bhavan in 1998 with an objective to provide free food, health care and shelter to destitute elderly women. Registration under Charitable Societies Act 12 of 1955 was done on January 30th ,2013 and was framed as a society named Pratyasha Bhavan under the patronage of Bethany Asramam Chapter.
The home takes care of the basic needs of the sick and poorest of poor elderly people especially destitute older women who dwell on the streets with lack of care and concern from their own children or family members. Destitute older people lying on the roads are transferred to the centre with the help of spiritual and social well wishers residing in the outskirts of Kottayam District where the old age Home is located.
Information of the HomePresently Home is catering to the needs of providing shelter, clothing, food, medical attention, spiritual and emotional support to 40 inmates. These old persons are mostly picked from the streets to provide shelter and care till their last breath. In general, aged persons of approx. 50 years of age and in special cases (mentally retarded) younger persons are admitted in this home. Some of the inmates walk normally and some are bedridden who require some assistance to move and carry out their daily routine etc. The inmates who are able to walk and do their regular day to day activities live in a separate room and use the common amenities like toilets, dining hall, kitchen etc. for their regular activities. However, the inmates who are not in a state to walk and need some assistance to do their routine activities on their cot itself stay in special room generally called sick room. It needs lot of personal care, patience and medical attention towards these inmates for a number of days to restore some of them to ambulatory state. Some of these inmates are mentally retarded and are placed under special care. This forms the basis for the requirement of well equipped room to treat the sick and bed ridden and to nourish them back to the normal state. The inmates are moved from the sick room with the help of wheel chairs to the dining hall and other surroundings with the help of home attendants. Needless to quote that more than the physical needs, it is very essential to provide emotional support to the elders. Hence every care is taken by the home with patience hearing to them. Often generous visits are made by volunteers to interact with them and share their experiences. Munificent volunteers even come and spend time to celebrate their memorable occasions and offer food and dine with the inmates during such instances.
The home has a capacity of 28 beds. More than 200 inmates were accommodated since its inception. Presently 22 inmates are residing here. 12 are Christians, while the 10 others are from other belief. The inmates are taken care under the care of Rev. Ramban. Joseph OIC, Sr. Rebecca SIC and Sr. Priscilla SIC (Members belonging to the Congregation of Bethany) assisted by two active support staff functioning under a team.
Our sisters and employees are always living with them, eat, play and pray with them. Our friendly, dedicated staff provides compassionate care, always mindful of the spiritual, social, emotional and medical needs of our residents
Objectives of the Home
- To shelter abandoned aged, infirm and disease stricken people
- To provide geriatric care without discrimination of caste, creed and sex.
- To provide care to the physically and mentally challenged aged women.
- To look after the elderly people with utmost care and empathy in a pleasant atmosphere to lead a peaceful life till their last journey.
- To extend the facilities of the home to more number of needy persons in the society with a passionate commitment to compassionate service, respect of life, justice to all oppressed
- To continue to survive by bringing together the hands of all likeminded people for sustenance.
- To create a feeling of wantedness, belongingness, self worth and dignity
A day in the Home
The day starts in the home with spiritual chants sung in the church in the morning at 6.00 a.m. followed by bed coffee. They are served with morning meal at 8.30 a.m. after which they go around the home and do miscellaneous works of their choice or chat among themselves. Around 12.30 p.m. their lunch is served in the dining hall. After lunch they take rest for about two hours or so and approx. by 4.00 in the evening they come out and relax with a cup of tea. A fruit or snacks biscuits are served as evening snacks after which they all go to the meditation hall and sit for half-an hour to meditate. In the evening TV show is arranged for 1.5 to 2 hours. The supper in the night is served at 8.00 p.m. after which they go to bed with night prayer.
Strengthening the old is strengthening the nation indeed
- Compliance to existing medical routine, giving medicines in time, etc
- Medication assistance (Physician services and emergency medical services on call)
- Personal care
- Companion Care
- Counseling service
- Encouragement in cultivation of hobbies like gardening and activities like bird rearing
- Peaceful surroundings with lush green trees, Ample open space
- Social hour and outdoor games
- Celebrations (Onam, Christmas and other occasions)
- Spiritual enlightenment prayers
- Nursing Care
- News Paper
- Prayer Hall
- Cable T.V
Other services rendered
- Availability of advanced medical equipment like Digital BP meter and one touch blood sugar monitor are made available to closely monitor the health condition.
As occasions arises the services of a qualified medical practitioner will be made available to the inmates at the center itself or the inmates will be taken to the hospital for treatment and, if necessary, get them admitted as inpatient. If the inmate is referred to other specialty hospital, home authorities will take the person to the hospital. All medical expenses of inmates are met from the benevolent contributions received.
- Last Journey: Funeral rights of the destitute aged who depart this life after long struggle with illness in the home are taken care by Prathyasa Bhavan. The last rights are performed with all traditional rituals and are cremated in the Cemetery portion donated by St. George Orthodox Church, Kuzhimattom to Prathyasa Bhavan.