Helping Hand for Kolkata Seniors

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Deep Probeen Porisheba is an elder care service started in Kolkata that promises to help seniors with a wide range of services. Reshmi Chakraborty spoke to them.

 

Elders at a health camp

Elders at a health camp. Pic: DPP

The prime concern for many of us living away from home or overseas for work is our parents. Statistics by the United Nations Population Fund show us that the number of people over 60 in India would increase to 300 million by 2050 from the current 100 million. With a rapidly graying population, services that are tailor made for the elderly are becoming a necessity. Keeping this in mind, Human Resource Development Service Inc., USA, headed by Dr Kallol Guha, launched Deep Probeen Porisheba (DPP), an eldercare service in Kolkata.

With a background of running medical schools successfully in the Caribbean, Dr Guha, the CEO, wished to do something in his hometown Kolkata and zeroed in on eldercare after an interaction with his elderly aunt. DPP was launched in April 2013.

What They Do

DPP offers home care services in the comfort of the elders’ homes. For a membership package of Rs 3000 per month, they offer you two sessions every week. The services vary according to the client’s needs and members can choose from the various medical or non-medical services on offer. For instance, their home care medical services offer blood pressure/glucose monitoring; post-operative care; medicine procurement and administration; assistance with understanding health insurance policies; nutrition assistance; physiotherapy assistance and escort to a diagnostic lab or doctor’s office, among others.

Their non-medical services could include requests for companionship, escorting seniors to the post office or bank. DPP also offers technology assistance with the internet and mobile phones and in maintaining hobbies like gardening, pet care, cooking, etc.

They can help in the payment of phone bills, electricity bill, gas booking, running personal errands, exchanging library books, helping with laundry service, repairing electronics and in reading newspapers or magazines.

Assistance with general housekeeping and repairs as well as car rentals is also given.

“The most common request is companionship,” says Shirsha Guha, the COO of the company. “We often have requests like, I need someone to come with me on my evening walk, to just come and talk.”

Non-medical requests, as mentioned above, are dependent on the client’s need. “For instance, if someone is having a problem with their gas cylinder, our people have gone and solved it,” Ms Guha adds.

Spreading the word among seniors. Pic: DPP

Spreading the word among seniors. Pic: DPP

How It Works

Once a member joins, the DPP team is sent to their home for an initial visit and a demo. They talk to the entire family to find out the requirements and the client profile. They design the services based on those needs.

DPP initially started the services at Salt Lake, the apartment hub of Kolkata but have now expanded to all over the city.

Close Experience

With 15 members on board at the time of writing, DPP has started spreading the word across Kolkata through marketing efforts like health camps, winter carnivals and retirement expos. Most of the elderly they have contacted have expressed their happiness at the thought of a service like this but Ms Guha candidly admits that many have expressed concerns regarding trust. “It is only natural, as there have been cases in the city of seniors being victims of theft and they are reluctant to let in someone new.”

DPP directly recruits and trains its staff and most are trained health care professionals, assures Ms Guha. Their selection process is stringent and there are several quality control measures in place.

“This is a very intimate relationship and the staff often becomes like adopted children for the seniors,” Ms Guha says, adding that a request for a staff member to do a member’s last rites have also come in.

DPP also has an expert panel of qualified doctors and can send regular progress reports to family members anywhere in the world. Now, their services are available only in Kolkata, though plans include branching out across India.

To contact them, call 033-4001-6189 or visit http://dppindia.com/index.html

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