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About Epoch's home care services

Home Who We Are About Epoch's Home Care Services

Epoch Elder Care provides professional at-home care for elderly Indians in India. We help the elderly age gracefully in the comfort of their own homes. We offer intellectual companionship, health monitoring and Alzheimer's & dementia care. Our services are currently available in Delhi/NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore.

To learn more, contact us at info@epocheldercare.com or +91.124.426.2561

All individuals are different, and we make sure to customize our services depending on each person needs and preferences. For all clients, the Elder Care Specialist provides focused attention to the elderly through:

o Regular home visits o Regular phone calls to check up on our elderly clients' wellbeing o Access to and hand holding our clients through a variety of athome elder care services o Working together with their adult children, family, friends, and domestic staff o Every interaction is followed up by a formal e-mail report to keep you in the loop

Vision
Epoch Elder Care strives to be India's leading Elder Care Organization both in terms of the quality of our care, as well as the number of elderly we serve. Epoch Elder Care also wants to take a leadership role in shaping an elder-friendly India through its client work and outreach programs.

Values Relationships
Create and celebrate fun and fulfilling relationships both at work and within the elderly community that are rooted in compassion, trust and good humor.

Expertise
Be the experts bar none by having the sharpest understanding of elderly needs, a mastery of 360degree elder care, and a highly capable team that knows how to touch,nurture and dramatically raise the quality of life of our elderly clients.

Innovation
Push the boundaries of preconceived notions about the elderly; constantly use research, technology and creativity to expand the breadth and quality of our elder-services; provide our employees an environment of inspiration and inventiveness.

Integrity
Conduct business openly, honestly and fairly at all times and treat all our stakeholders with respect and integrity; always offer objective advice and service that is clearly in the interest of our elderly clients.

ategories of services:

Epoch Elder Care works with three types of elderly people, those that are in need of:

All individuals are different, and we make sure to customize our services depending on each person needs and preferences. For all clients, the Elder Care Specialist provides focused attention to the elderly through: o Regular home visits o Regular phone calls to check up on our elderly clients' wellbeing o Access to and hand holding our clients through a variety of athome elder care services o Working together with their adult children, family, friends, and domestic staff o Every interaction is followed up by a formal e-mail report to keep you in the loop

As an intellectual companion, the Elder Care Specialist performs several activities with the elderly, including:
o Having meaningful conversation o Accompanying the elderly in going to events and outings o Reading and discussing current events and literature o Listening to music and watching favorite videos o Discussing experiences and memories o Playing games (e.g., Rummy, Bridge, Mahjong, Carom Board) o Developing new hobbies and re-discovering old ones (e.g., painting, knitting, cooking, gardening) o Assisting with technology - Email, Skype, Facebook o Enabling them to use their phones o Recording recipes and memoirs

o Encouraging social interaction o Arts and crafts: (e.g., physical family trees, scrapbooks, clay molding) o Organizing and filing papers, music collections, photos o Discuss and plan beauty care (e.g., manicures, hair styles) o Maintain a social calendar With the help of Epoch Elder Cares extended team, the Elder Care Specialist can also help the elderly person with: o Social outings (e.g. shopping, movies, walks) o Monthly social events organized by Epoch Elder Care

f your elderly parent might require Epoch Elder Cares Health Monitoring services if he or she is unwell, has to take a complicated list of medication, has recently been discharged from the hospital, has trouble maintaining personal and household hygiene, has diabetes, etc. The Elder Care Specialist helps promote and monitor the health of the elderly person through:

We also work with elderly people who suffer from Alzheimers and dementia. Some clients also suffer from hallucinations, severe depression and advanced Parkinsons. When the elderly person is suffering from Alzheimers or dementia, they are often confused, frustrated and agitated. Their need for a companion is greater than ever. While some activities might not be possible, the Elder Care Specialist makes sure to perform as many of the companionship activities as possible (click here to read more about intellectual companionship) In addition, we provide specialized services, including:

FAQ
Home FAQ

Does Epoch Elder Care own a facility or center to render its services?
No, Epoch does not currently own a facility or a center to provide its services. We render only athome care in the comfort of our clients residences. Under some circumstances we have also provided our services to people dwelling in old age homes or similar facilities with due compliance of the authorities running the place.

Where all does Epoch provide elder care services in India?


Currently, Epoch extends its facilities in and around Delhi-NCR only; as of now, we have clients in South Delhi, East Delhi, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Dwarka, Noida and Faridabad.

How often does the ECS visit the home of the elderly?
Depending upon the needs and requirements of the elderly, we tailor-make their care management program. Typically, the ECS visits an elderly 3 times a week, for an hour each and makes at least one phone call in the days they do not visit. However, if the need is greater, we can adapt our offering accordingly. We can increase the frequency to 6 days a week, and the time spent to 2-3 hours a visit.

My elderly mother/father lives with family and is constantly surrounded by family, so is there still a need for Epochs services?
Yes, although family forms an important part of your elderly mother/fathers lives, the ECS specifically provides them with focused attention and fills in the gaps which may occur due to p eoples busy lives of today. This helps to engage them constructively in their idle time and provide them with a confidante whom they can always trust.

Do the Elder Care Specialists assist with household chores as well?


No. Our ECS are not domestic help. W ith masters degrees in the fields of psychology, social work and gerontology, they are employed by Epoch as professional care managers. They can help in organizing household help, monitoring hygiene levels and making sure all specific requirements of the elderly are being met. Click here to see the profiles of our Elder Care Specialists

Does Epoch provide medical support?


The ECS is NOT a trained nurse or qualified in any way to carry out any extensive medical care procedures. The support is absolutely non-medical.

Does Epoch place attendants and nurses in homes of people?


Epoch does not employ nurses, attendants and domestic help. However, we can understand that often the elderly need these fulltime services and it is difficult to source, interview and retain household help. We have partnerships with agencies and can help hand-hold our clients while placing fulltime help.

What if my parents are unwell right now? What if they have just been discharged from the hospital? Do Epochs services still apply?
Yes, Epochs services definitely still apply. Under such circumstances our services mainly include health monitoring and medication management. In addition to this, we believe that companionship becomes even more important in such situations as the process of healing gets delayed in the absence of mental happiness and well-being.

How do I get to know what is happening with my elderly under the care management plan if I am living away from them?
Epoch follows a stringent reporting system and sends out updates to the children (or responsible individuals) of every elderly client for every session that is held. This is followed by a detailed monthly report consisting of progress so far and actions that need to be taken.

How do I sign up and how much will this cost me?


To contact us you can call us at +91-124-426-2561 or email us at info@epocheldercare.com. Since our services are highly customized please contact us to find out the cost of our services for your parent.

What is the age range of your clients?


Our youngest client is 63 years and our oldest is 90 years. We have many clients who fall in between as well.

How many elderly clients does one Elder Care Specialist manage?
One ECS takes care of 5 clients at a time. This allows them to provide the individualized care and attention as per the client and situation.

What happens in case there is an emergency?


Epoch is not an ambulatory service and does not provide emergency aid.

First Senior Senior Homecare Services

Utmost and respectful care of your loved elders is our top priority. Caring for seniors is a highly specialised activity and we customise solutions for each elderly person based upon their needs, health, family situation, culture, etc. We provide comprehensive senior care solutions including;

Diet Monitoring & Medicine Management Nutrition assessment, checking expirations, feeding and medications under supervision, etc. Stimulating Awareness & Intelligent and meaningful Conversations maintaining the mental awareness and intellectual stimulation of your loved ones by meaningful conversations on a wide spectrum of issues like sports, politics, music, movies, etc.

Light Chatter and Companionship providing general companionship service to seniors. Includes reminiscing family albums, TV serials, and giving them an attentive ear to hear their opinions, monitoring TV usage, etc. Outside Visits assisting and accompanying to religious places, managing doctors appointments, social visits like marriages, shopping, accompanying to lunch/dinner, etc. Reading & Calendar Management Aid with reading including newspapers, religious texts, managing calendar like birthdays, anniversaries, bills management, etc. Entertainment providing light in-house entertainment services including playing board games, cards, chess, etc. Senior Communication Solutions Assist with emailing, online audio and video chats, writing letters, help with all kinds of communications, etc. Airport Tasks Counselling with pre-departure anxiety for overseas travel, assistance with appropriate shopping and requirements for specific destinations, accompany to the airport, transport arrangements for departures, etc. Family Respite Services Caregiving is an extremely stressful job and often the family members taking care of their elders need breaks from caregiving in order to stay healthy themselves. Expatriate Services We have special solutions for elderly overseas expatriates visiting India for holidays or accompanying family members and need homecare. It is often difficult to predict the needs of your loved seniors and their needs also change as they age further. First Seniors understands this well and our Seniorcare Specialists assess each senior individually customise a care package accordingly.

Alzheimers & Dementia Majority of the people suffering from Dementia and Alzheimer's, as well as their families and friends, are unaware of their ailments and it becomes convenient to attribute their actions to their age. Please do not take it casually as Alzheimer's is fast becoming a leading cause of death. Fall Risk Prevention and Alzheimers Fall Risk Prevention and Alzheimers The risk of falling is currently one of the most common threats to the health of seniors all over the World. First Seniors provides unique Fall Risk Assessment. A variety of factors contribute to this risk, both intrinsic and extrinsic. A momentary lapse of balance can lead to an immediate decrease in the quality of life for seniors with possible physical and psychological manifestations of their fall. This recurring risk can be controlled through regular professional monitoring and we have among our staff, experts highly trained in fall prevention techniques. In fact our Fall Assessment is the first, one of its kind, holistic assessment of your home and your loved ones fall risk in that environment. Alzheimers and Dementia Alzheimers is the most common form of Dementia and can lead to extreme memory loss and depletion of intellectual abilities. Majority of the people suffering from Dementia and Alzheimers, as well as their families and friends, are unaware of their ailments and it becomes convenient to attribute their actions to their age. Please do not take it casually as Alzheimers is fast becoming a leading cause of death. Watch out for the following symptoms in your loved elders; Often forgetting basic things, or misplacing items Rapid decrease in their judgement Difficulty in completing even basic tasks at home Confusion of time and place Trouble identifying regular and close relationships or images Problems with speech or writing

Pain Management Pain is that unpleasant feeling, which occurs in varying degrees of severity due to injury, disease, or emotional disorder. Pain is often accompanied by involuntary protective spasm of muscles, which prevents complete range of motion at the joint, and regular movements get restricted. We at First Seniors feel that there is nothing noble about living with pain. All it does is debilitate your positive energies, making you unfit to function or live to your full potential. First Seniors has the expertise to not just assist you in managing the pain but also help you in complete restoration of movements at all joints. Pain Management Specialists of First Seniors are well-qualified therapists who have been trained extensively to treat various conditions of Pain and offer complete care in the comfort of your home. We adopt a holistic approach towards managing the pain, which includes the following; Appropriate Assessment of Pain Adopting international physiotherapy techniques with most modern equipment Customised Rehabilitation regime including exercises, etc. Quick healing to minimise any long term effects of injuries Counseling and lifestyle coaching with focus on overall fitness Nutrition and Diet Monitoring Other therapies like naturopathy, acupressure, etc. Patient Education Consultation with your medical experts and doctors. Maintainance of complete records of the patient Conditions that are treated by First Seniors include all Orthopedic and Neurological conditions. Commonly treated injuries and conditions include the following:

Back and Neck Pain Arthritis Sciatica Chronic Pain Joint Pain

Poor Posture Sprains & Strains Osteoporosis Muscle Tension & Pain Hormonal Problems and Menopause Sports Injuries Post Surgical Rehabilitation Knee & Foot Pain Pre/Post Natal Care Cerebral Palsy Stroke Parkinsons Disease Spine Injuries Headaches and migraines Shoulder Pain

Specialised Home Health Care Services First Seniors brings professional high quality Health Care to your homes as part of our vision on how the healthcare should be dispensed in India in the future. We aim at providing solutions for highly specialised out-of-hospital care in the comfort of your homes. While it is not possible to deliver all treatments at home, the advances in healthcare certainly make it possible to ensure that the patients have the right choices available with them. Home Nursing First Seniors specialises in providing a high standard home nursing care. We customize our Nursing Care packages to address various illnesses or conditions of a patient and meet the needs of patients and their family members. Our Nursing care specialists are trained for IV requirements, haemophilia, oncology and pediatrics. Cancer Care Cancer patients are required to frequently visit hospitals for chemotherapy treatment. Our team of highly specialised Oncology teams consists of nurses, technicians, pharmacists, etc. The service consists of oral oncology and IV cancer services. Home chemotherapy leads to huge savings and comfort for the patients.

Home Medications This addresses the requirements of patients with specialised frequent administration of medication. Our specialists are carefully trained to handle difficult situations and also assist the patients in self-administration of medications and infection control. Continuous care First Seniors has inhouse expertise in providing care for patients requiring intensive care who undergo a long recovery process,medically stable patients with regular need for ongoing treatments,patients with degenerative disorders, etc. Our specialists are trained to handle neurological diseases, long term ventilation needs, congenital disorders, spinal injuries, etc. Early discharge or admission avoidance A large number of patients have to go for readmissions to the hospitals due to failure to manage post-surgical care at home, or due to an infection picked up in the hospital or lack of proper reporting post-discharge from the hospital. Post discharge management in the comfort of your home could avoid these re-admissions easily.

Our Seniorcare Specialist Care Providers Our Seniorcare Specialists are the face of our organisation. They are the ones going into your homes and providing professional care. This is, by all means, the most seriously taken issue. Recruitment & Training We have stringent recruitment procedures and take utmost care in the selection of our caregivers who are already professionally qualified in various healthcare disciplines. This is followed by thorough senior-homecare training. We have a number of Inhouse Geriatric Experts who have devised a comprehensive training program for our Seniorcare Specialists. Substantial amount of training is devoted to Geriatric Counselling. Our management team devotes a considerable amount of time and resources on this aspect.

First Seniors ensures that a strong passion for caring for others is a binding quality in all the caregivers recruited by us. In addition to the non-medical geriatric care training, there is a strong filtering and checking process in place to warrant the credibility of the caregivers we hire. Our Seniorcare specialists are fully backed by a strong administrative support establishment in place. We have a strategic partnership with prestigious training institutes in the country and abroad for the continuous training of our caregivers and managers.

Tell Them You Care Are you aware of the needs of your ageing parents or grand parents ? Call us now to discuss their specific situation and we shall help you in identifying the needs of your senior family members. Order & Payments First Seniors offers a convenient way of ordering in-home senior care. We could customise a package specific to the needs of your aging elders. You could pay in a convenient method from any part of the world by check, bank draft, cash or credit card. Look after your Mother, Father, or Grand Parents, Tell Them You Care Call us Now If calling from within India Toll Free number 1 800 11 CARE or 1 800 11 2273 If calling from outside India - + 91 11 2667 2800 Now Call Us Toll Free from US and Canada - 1 855 MAA BAAP or 1 855 622 2227 You could also fax us at + 91 11 2668 4290 Or Send an Email at info@firstseniors.in

Homecare for your Elders A Preferred Choice There is nothing like the comfort of our own home. This fact is universally accepted and applicable and none more so than in the case of Seniors. While it is difficult to match a son or a daughter or any family member providing care to their elders at home; changing lifestyles, work pressures, moving away from home for work has led to the breakdown of the traditional support system of the families; This has generated a growing need for professional care for seniors at their homes. The mounting rigors of everyday life and children increasingly staying away from home, seniors are being left wanting for proper care and companionship. Need for Homecare Your parents or grandparents may be feeling lonely because youve had to live in another city or country due to your work or business. Your mother may be suffering from serious ailments and may be forgetting her regular medications. Your father may be retired and not be physically active anymore but would be mentally fully alive and needs someone to talk to. Your old family members may have a lot of relatives in town but may not be able to attend social functions like marriages, and birthdays because they need someone to take them to those occasions. A senior may be suffering from Alzheimers

or Dementia and may be forgetting small things to do at home. As a daughter you may find it important to monitor your mothers diet. As a son or a grandson, you may be too busy to look after small chores for your parents or grandparents like maintaining their bank accounts, visiting post offices, or accompanying them to visit the temple or their neighbours or even a doctor. Improved Quality of Life These issues can often quickly deteriorate the physical and mental health of your parents or grandparents that further leads to avoidable illnesses and hospitalisations. One cannot alter the ageing process but Professional Caregiving can certainly bring about great changes in the quality of life of your senior and elderly family members and fill their life with zest and joy. Of course, it gives you peace of mind as well in the realisation that your senior family members are being looked after. Choosing First Seniors home care gives your elderly loved ones greater freedom to accept the care and removes the mental stigma associated with having been institutionalised.

India Health Care Services

IHHC has established standardized Care Plans based on best practice solutions from other countries to ensure high quality care.

The First Call Upon receiving your request, IHHCs clinically trained Operations team gathers initial information on the patient and his/her requirement before determining which care provider will best suit the patients needs and set an appointment for our senior staff and the assigned nurse to make the initial visit. The initial documentation for the EMR (electronic medical record) is created.

Initial Assessment During the first patient visit, the Supervisor will do a thorough initial assessment of the patient and the home environment using internationally accepted best practices. The assessment details are uploaded into our patient portal as the first reference point for the care at home.

Care Plan The team draws up a personalized care plan for the patient, in conjunction with the treating physician detailing out the specific services that will be provided. We also involve the immediate family members in the Care Planning.

Technology IHHC is at the forefront of technology at home. It starts with our patient portal, which stores all collected health data and is accessible for the Patient, the family and the treating physician. We are implementing also remote monitoring technology. This benefits the elderly as supporting systems for an emergency can prevent that a health threatening condition remains unnoticed. Also the chronically sick benefit, as continuous monitoring helps them to manage their disease. Diabetes patients are already used to the blood sugar.

Care Follow Up

We monitor the services provided on a consistent basis through home visits by our Quality Assurance Team and through phone calls with the patient and nurse. Any quality related issue will be addressed immediately, as it is important to us to have a satisfied patient.

Sheela Iyer (88) is writing a blog with recipes of dishes her children had loved when growing up, so they and her grandchildren who now live in various parts of the world can continue to cook these family specialties. Septuagenarian Raj is busy making a collage of photographs of her life as a newly wed, her late husband and family holidays.

Dementia patient Rama Rao (62) is wrapped up in caring for her five new gold fish. Apart from the new projects that have made their lives more meaningful, these ageing women have something else in common. All of them have a special visitor who drops in a few times a week, chats with them, ensures they are taking their pills and encourages them to pursue their creative endeavors. These visitors are elder care specialists (ECS) from a new company that provides professional at-home care for senior citizens. With a growing number of Indians moving out of home states - and sometimes the country - to make careers, many grannies and grandpas are living alone. Even those who live with their children are often left to their own devices. Then there are retirement blues and health issues. Step in Epoch Eldercare and a few other organisations that go beyond medical care and domestic assistance to offer companionship to the elderly and make their sunset years more fulfilling. Not surprisingly, many are hiring the services of these companies for their elders - it could be loosely defined as parent care outsourcing. First-Seniors, an associate of a UKbased group which started operations in India last January, is now serving 3, 000 aged men and women in eight cities. India Home Health Care (IHHC) which launched an elderly care service six months ago is catering to 50 seniors in Chennai and Bangalore. Ten elders in the National Capital Region have been using Epoch's services since it was launched last November. Maya Care, a non-profit organisation which provides errand-based assistance - help with bill payments, grocery shopping or assistance to visit a doctor - to elders in 10 cities, gets 25-30 requests a month. The children of about half of Epoch's clients and 30 per cent of the elders enrolled with FirstSeniors live abroad. The families of the rest are simply too busy to help. "In a majority of cases, it is the children who hire the service, but some seniors who live alone contact us themselves because they just want someone to be there for them - take them for a walk, play chess with them, " says Emily Ruth Monica, HR manager of IHHC. Some of the elders who use the services do suffer from dementia, depression or other age-related ailments, but many are quite healthy and only need a friend, says Kabir Chaddha, who heads Epoch. The 26-year-old economics graduate from Stanford, gave up a cushy consultancy job in New York to launch the service. The inspiration lies in his own family's story. His parents both of who were busy professionals had a tough time finding quality care for his grandmother. "My nani moved in with my parents in Delhi after my nana passed away. She needed attention 24x7 because she suffered from spinal tuberculosis and was also depressed. My parents found it hard to manage, " he says. "We realised that unlike the West, there are no quality home care services here. " In the US and UK, many private companies such as Visiting Angels and Comfort

Keepers provide long-term at-home care to elders as well as 'respite' or temporary care for those whose children are going on vacation or business trips. The governments there, too, provide services to elders so they don't need to leave the comfort of their home. A study of senior citizens in the UK shows that not more than five per cent of elders live in old age homes, mainly thanks to governmentsponsored at-home care. Home care services abroad often include light housekeeping, some cooking and help with bathing and using the toilet. But Indian companies do not provide such personal assistance. The 'companions' only visit the elder at home three to four times a week for an hour or two each time. Apart from reminiscing about the good old days and patiently listening to stories that make the grandchildren yawn, the specialists also give elders diet advice and help them with medicine management. They try to fulfill the elder's social needs, too. "I will be going out to a pizza place with Neha (an ECS) soon, " says Rao, the excitement apparent in her voice. Clients with NRI children are shown how to use Skype and counselled on how to deal with flight anxiety before long trips abroad. "We are the only point of contact for NRIs whose parents live alone here. They call us often to find out how their parents are doing, " says Chadha. Fall risk assessment is another important part of elderly care service. The specialists assess the elder's home - bathroom floors, stairs and lighting - and suggest steps to "fall-proof" the house. The specialist may even make some minor on- the-spot modifications in the home. The caregivers are usually trained psychologists, social workers or gerontologists. They are trained to provide basic life support. The services may hold a lot of promise for India's growing elderly population but they remain out of reach for the majority. Epoch charges Rs 10, 000 per month and First Senior's services cost anywhere between Rs 10, 000 to 50, 000 a month depending on the elder's requirements. IHHC charges Rs. 3, 500 for a week of care - 12 hours daily and a nurse visit. Maya Care tries to keep its fees low - Rs 200 per errand - but it still finds that many people who call to enquire are unable to spare this amount. Founder Manjiri Gokhale therefore started the 'visit-a-grandparent' initiative last year. Now, any elder can simply call and seek company free of cost. "In one case, we got to know about a blind gentleman and visited him on our own to see if he required any help, " says Sudha Gokhale, a volunteer. Those who can afford regular elderly care services are glad for the help. Raj's daughter Jyoti Bahri is among them. "My mother is much more cheerful now that her life has an agenda. She looks forward to the visits made by Tanvi (the ECS) and eagerly tells us

about the things they do during the meeting. She has taken up painting, too, " says the barely talk to anyone earlier. Bahri says she enrolled for the service because she gets to spend quality time with Raj only on weekends - she has a hectic job, two children and both her mother-in-law and mother live with her in Gurgaon. "I feel less guilty now, " she adds. Bahri, however, only sees this help as a additional emotional support for her mother. "I still make it a point to spend time with my mother and take her out, " she says.

Kabir Chadha is the CEO and founder of Epoch Elder Care - an organisation, which is committed to healthy ageing and provides professional at-home care for the Indian elderly. They work with three types of elderly people: Those who are in need of intellectual companionship, health monitoring, and Alzheimers and dementia care. Some of the facilities they provide include fall risk assessment, doctor referrals, mental stimulation, and social support. New in India, the services that Epoch Elder Care brings to its customers are fast catching with the older population; after all, India is a young country with the worlds second largest elderly population. There are 100 million Indians above the age of 65 and that number is going to double by 2040. Today, we are in conversation with Kabir Chadha, Founder of Epoch Elder Care. We will understand from him the idea behind such a concept, issues elders face today, his organisation and its future goals. Mansi Kohli. What inspired you to start such an organization? Kabir Chadha. I have always wanted to start something that is not only a sound business idea but also has real social impact. However, if you ask me to point at a person, then I will say that my grandmother is my inspiration. She went through a medically tough time for a few years and we found that it is very difficult to provide high quality care for an elderly person at home in India. Today, despite being over 80 years old, she has a busy schedule. She does yoga for 1 hour every morning, reads the newspaper religiously, takes English lessons to brush up for when her American grandchildren (who dont speak Hindi) visit. Nani cooks up a storm in the kitchen and frequently goes to her friends and familys home. In any given day, at least a couple people come to see her. She travels to her hometown, Pune, every year, and manages to walk three kilometers every evening without fail. She is currently my roommate and is a constant reminder of what it means to age healthily, gracefully and in a fun way! Mansi Kohli. What kind of issues do the elderly face in India today? Kabir Chadha. Before starting Epoch, I did research about the elder care market in India. There are about five points I think are crucial, and that people I talk to often find surprising. Here goes: India is a young country with the worlds second largest elderly population: There a re 100 million Indians above the age of 65 and that number is going to double by 2040. The elderly have many needs, but the biggest one is that of companionship - the elderly are lonely. Other needs include access to proper medical care, regular exercise, a healthy diet, financial stability, spiritual wellbeing, and physical safety. However, when an elderly person stops interacting socially, it is very difficult for their other needs to be met.

The elderly in India want to stay at home, unlike their Western counterparts. People who are currently in their 50s and 60s are more open to moving to retirement communities, but for those who are in their 70s and 80s, a move is unlikely. There is no good talent in the field other than family and domestic helpand thats where we come in. Mansi Kohli. What services does your organization offer? Kabir Chadha. For all clients, the Elder Care Specialist provides focused attention to the elderly by visiting the elderly person at home and regular phone calls to check up on their wellbeing. The ECS also provides access to a variety of at-home elder care products and services and, to ensure they have a holistic picture, the ECS works together with their adult children, family, friends, and domestic staff. For each type of client, Epoch Elder Care has specialized services as well. For our clients who only require intellectual companionship, we accompany them in outings and social events. We read and discuss current events and literature. We play stimulating games including Rummy, Scrabble and Mahjong. We also assist with technology (e.g., Email, Skype, Facebook, and even mobile phone usage). For those who require health management, we also check vitals (e.g., blood pressure, blood sugar), ensure personal and environment hygiene, help the elderly manage their medication and assist with hospital visits. For our Alzheimers and dementia care clients, we provide memory care, respite care and caregiver training. Mansi Kohli. Have you got a positive response so far? Kabir Chadha. We have had a very encouraging response so far, both from potential customers as well as people wanting to join as Elder Care Specialists. As of now, we work with clients in South Delhi, East Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Dwarka and Faridabad. However, there is some resistance to the idea of having a professional taking care of an elderly person. Traditionally in India, this is something a family member would do. But once we get into the homes, we have little trouble retaining a customer. The biggest hurdle is going to be building an awareness and acceptance of professional elder care services. Mansi Kohli. How do you think one can be an effective caregiver? Kabir Chadha. An effective caregiver needs relevant soft and hard skills. At Epoch, our Elder Care Specialists (ECS) have the soft skills: patience, empathy, creativity, and desire to work with the elderly. They also have relevant work experience with the elderly either in a professional or personal setting. For example, one of our Specialists worked at a Retirement Community in Australia while another was the primary care giver for her grandmother who had Alzheimers. All are extremely well educated (with Masters degrees in Psychology, Physiotherapy and Social Work) and are trained for over two weeks. However the one quality that is common among every care giver is heart they genuinely have a soft and caring heart. Mansi Kohli. Where do you see your organization going 5 years from now? Kabir Chadha. In 5 years from now, we strive to be India's leading Elder Care Organization both in terms of the quality of our care, as well as the number of elderly we serve. Right now we provide home care for the elderly, but we are also developing projects where we play an operator role in old age homes and day-care centers for the elderly. Before starting Epoch Elder Care, Kabir worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company in New York, where he worked on strategic projects for global MNCs mainly in the finance and healthcare sectors.

Business Standard: Caught in the middle


Publish Date : Jun 02, 2012 Our services include home visits, companionship and medication management as well as monthly social events to get the elderly out of their homes and engaged with one another, says Kabir Chadha, a young ex-McKinsey consultant who started Epoch last year. His elder care specialists are professionals who have masters degrees in elder care management fields like gerontology, social work and psychology. This article is written by Jyoti Pande Lavakare Ive often wondered exactly when children turn into care-givers for aging parents. As medical care improves and life expectancy goes up, more of us can expect to have our considerably older parents around longer, which is great. But with traditional roles of family changing rapidly in India, the role of middle-aged children as care-givers a generation sandwiched between taking care of elderly parents and young children is also changing. This is a conversation that transcends all geographical boundaries. What differentiates it from country to country are the cultural issues. For example, each time my parents have dealt with serious medical issues, theyve refuse to come to my home, even for post-operative care. In addition to the ignominy most parents feel in being a burden on their children, Indian parents who have no son hesitate to live in their daughters homes. In my case, every argument that my sisters and I used to persuade them to stay in our homes, at least until they recovered, fell upon deaf ears. The cultural barrier against living with a daughter was too strong for them to overcome. In the West, the elderly expect to grow old alone. Their children move out, usually after they finish high school. This gives parents a chance to get used to the idea while they are still relatively healthy. And depending on the country, there are enough elder care homes and retirement communities Floridas raison detre is the elderly to take over the caregiver's role as they age. Some countries like the UK help the elderly age with dignity by providing care in their own homes through government-sponsored social service networks. In India, however, where more children are living separately than ever before, this is probably the first generation of the elderly who are coming to terms with the fact that they may have to age alone. This realisation is making retirement communities and privately outsourced elder-care management companies gain greater acceptance. Manjiri Gokhale Joshi began Maya Care in 2009, with Pune and Mumbai as its home base. Its services include helping senior citizens visit a doctor, shop, pay bills and attend social engagements. Another company, India Home Health Care, based out of Bangalore and Chennai, focuses on health care and targets non-resident Indians whose elderly parents live in India. And in north India, Epoch Elder Care, the latest to open shop, provides quality at-home elder care to provide the social support and mental stimulation the elderly need. Our services include home visits, companionship and medication management as well as monthly social events to get the elderly out of their homes and engaged with one another, says Kabir Chadha, a young ex-McKinsey consultant who started Epoch last year. His elder care specialists are professionals who have masters degrees in elder care management fields like gerontology, social work and psychology. True, getting old isnt for the sissies. But its equally tough on the sandwich generation, struggling to care for young children and ageing parents when were also dealing with mid-life crises and peaking in their careers. In some ways, being the youngest of my siblings seems unfair. My older sisters have had the benefit of seeing their parents young, and have taken advantage of their support. Now, they are empty-nesters, and Im the one who has a young child as well as a 90-year old father. My sisters want to help, but they live overseas, and my dad refuses to relocate. So by default, Ive become his

primary caretaker, says a friend, a single mother, who prefers to remain unnamed. Its especially hard for her to care for her father, since he prefers to live in a village in Punjab and her life is centered in Delhi. And in addition to failing physical health, a vanishing mind and depression, greater emotional fragility makes the elderly over-sensitive, which is why caring for them is such a challenging task.

Elder-care specialists macro-manage and supplement senior citizens needs in the NCRfrom Facebook requirements to nani-dadi makeover parties Article featured in Mint Lounge by Rajni George

Past life
The founder and CEO of Epoch Elder Care, Kabir Chadha, 26, grew up in Delhi, studied economics at Stanford University, California, worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Co., New Yorkand then wanted to do something different, like many of his colleagues. It was easier for me to do the job, he says. But I decided to quit and start my own business from home.

Eureka moment My nani (maternal grandmother) was my inspiration, says Chadha. When he moved back to India in April 2011, he decided to live with her in Gurgaon. Having an 83-year-old flatmate helped me realize the many needs of an elderly person and how ill-equipped we are to deal with them here, he remembers. Older people, I observed, were sometimes bored and lonely, and I thought they needed proper companionship. For, he explains, small, high-end flats in places like Gurgaon, which accommodate not more than four-five people, mean nuclear families now often prevail. I could see that it was now natural for older people to be living on their own, he says. Their children were either living in the same city but not nearby, in another Indian city, or abroad. Time had become scarce for these working children, now with families of their own; not always on hand for a simple task such as showing their elderly relative how to operate a new DVD player. Epoch was born out of an attempt to meet a gap Chadha perceived: between a need for a fuller appreciation of older peoples requirements and a lifestyle where there is not always enough time to provide personalized care. There is a feeling that retirement communities do not usually provide a caring atmosphere for the Indian elderly; theres a stigma attached to living in a retirement home, Chadha explains. It is perceived that your children cannot take care of you, if you are in one. Medical care workers, he adds, are often trained and treated as little more than maids, and cannot always provide more sophisticated care. This is where Epoch comes in: We are friends, surrogate grandchildren. Genesis When Chadha returned to the US for a few months in June 2011, he attended elder-care conferences, spoke to doctors and his target demographic, and followed up with an elder-care conference in Hong Kong before applying his knowledge locally. He launched a pilot last October, then began operations in January. Business was generated through word of mouth, and Epoch now has 20 clients, a management team of three and six elder-care specialists (ECS), each handling three-four customers. Services range from 3 hours per week to 3 hours daily, and charges can range from $200 (around Rs.11,200) per month for three visits to $400 for six visits per week, over a three-month term. This includes a one-time consultation, one organized social event, two outings (including doctor visits)

a month, help with fall-proofing, medication management, purchase of elder-care products, placement of full-time nurses and maids, doctor and specialist referrals, and the scheduling of social interactions. On each visit, the ECS spends a few hours with the elderly person to meet their personal needs. Customized packages are also available. Employees are recruited through online job sites, interviewed by elder-care specialists and a psychologist on Epochs expert panel and vetted by a session with an elderly person. For every ECS we hire, we review 50 candidates, says Chadha. Our employees have studied pharmacy, hospital management and social work, most with field or personal experience, and one with an elder-care focus. Clients are usually 50-year-olds worried about the well-being of their parents, in their 70s and 80s the customers. An ECS calls his/her customer almost daily and prepares a report every time s/he makes a site visit, relayed on email to many an anxious non-resident Indian (NRI)or just on the other side of Delhi. Sometimes, a client lives with the elderly parents but needs help. The spectrum of services offered is broad. ECS Neha Sinha helps a customer maintain a food blog. We organize events like fashion shows and makeover parties some participants had never been to a beauty parlour before. And we teach them how to use Facebook so they can spy on their grandkids! says Chadha. The craziest thing theyve had to do? Manage to get a lonely client in a no-pets-allowed retirement home a pet fish. Reality check Often people would meet Epoch specialists, Chadha says, and decide they were already spending on medical care and other expenses; what did they need an ECS for? Or they would say, right now nana (maternal grandfather) is too sick, come back in a few months. Plan B Chadha doesnt foresee a return to finance. I project around 200 clients by next year, perhaps expanding to Mumbai and other cities. Secret sauce We approach care management through the idea of companionship, says Chadha. We manage needs from a base, and we are whistle-blowers.

Millions of Indians have Alzheimer's disease, but they get little attention
This article is written by Rrishi Raote for Business Standard

In just one terrible week, my grandmother appeared to have collapsed. For some years her short-term memory had been fading, then the old memories started to go. We had been to a neurologist. He said Senile dementia, and prescribed medicines. They may have helped, but by this time it was hard to tell. Lately, and frighteningly fast, my grandmothers condition had nosedived. One of us had to be with her all the time, holding her hand and reassuring her when she asked a hundred times a day, What shall I do? One of us had to help her change her clothes, several times a day. It was unbearable to see her so helpless and terrified. And it was exhausting for us. It was fortunate that, in the same week, we saw an article about a Delhi startup called Epoch Elder Care. Its founder Kabir Chadha came with his elder care specialists, and told us that my grandmother most likely had Alzheimers disease. He put us in touch with Dr Sushma Chawla. Chawla runs Hope Ek ASHA, an NGO that specialises in Alzheimers. She gave us a brisk and actionable lecture that emphasised daily routine and constant engagement. By this time we had nursing attendants round the clock. And we had retained Epoch, one of whose specialists now visits my grandmother thrice a week to talk, play games that exercise the senses and motor skills, listen and sing along to ghazals. Not all of these activities are to my grandmothers taste, but she is much

calmer, better cared-for and more responsive; and it is good for us, her family, to have an outside view of her condition. The cost of all this is formidable: Rs 35,000 a month. Most families cannot afford to pay so much. But they have to do something, because Alzheimers is degenerative. It strikes people above the age of 65, and its prevalence rises with age, so that almost a third of them will have dementia (three quarters of which is Alzheimers -related) by their mid-80s. In the West it is one of the costliest diseases to society, but scientists still are not sure what causes it. Medicines, routine and busyness will not cure it but they do slow its progression. The aim of Alzheimers care is, therefore, to focus on making the person happy, in the laymanlike but accurate terms of Neha Sinha, Epochs Alzheimers specialist. What choices do families have? Very few, so far. Dementia day care centres are scarce but, because they are NGO-run, free or cheap. They can provide, for up to eight hours a day, supervised stimulation and peer group interaction to patients, and relief to their families and caregivers. *** One of Delhis two dementia day care centres opened in December 2011 at Panchvati, a private old age home in Tughlakabad Extension. The centre is staffed and run by the Alzheimers & Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI). A gate in a quiet lane leads to a tiny garden. In a semi-basement opening onto the garden is the day care centre. It is a long room, lacking cross-ventilation but cheerily bright with takhats for sitting or lying on along the sides, comfortable chairs, magazines, books, papers and games, a carrom board, a radio, a TV (turned off), four ARDSI-trained attendants and, this afternoon, just four patients. A retired lawyer and a former cipher expert are sitting at the carrom board, not playing but quietly talking. The retired chartered accountant is just getting up, unsteady in one leg but looking ready for his afternoon tea and biscuit. Apparently he was barely able to speak before he came here. Now he speaks short sentences. An attendant, an alert young man, is with him immediately; another sits at the carrom board. The wing commanders wife is napping, with a young woman attendant seated near her; but then she wakes to reveal bright eyes and a crisp accent. She appears perplexed, even when her favourite keyboard (for the weekly music therapy session) is placed in front of her. As the company, with attendants, troops out to sit in the garden, ARDSIs execut ive director, Col V K Khanna (retd), a diminutive, kind-sounding man whose office is upstairs, says two other patients left earlier, and one asked for two days leave. He says with a chuckle, To them, this is like a job, like office. They take it seriously. The schedule is simple. Soon after 9 am the taxi leaves the day care centre, with an attendant. By 10.30 it is back with the patients. The catchment area is limited because patients cannot sit in a car for hours. Once they arrive, the day unwinds with prayers, therapeutic games, lunch, a siesta, tea and biscuits. The taxi takes patients home by 4.30 pm. No patient is ever left alone. The attendants are trained, among other things, to deal with incontinence and violent behaviour also symptoms of Alzheimers. With eight or 10 regular patients, not even this centres capacity of 20 is filled. Ive been trying to raise this number, says Khanna. His budget is tight. We have money for only one transport, he says so donations for transport are welcome. ARDSI does not charge patients; the centre costs Rs 2830 lakh a year, paid by HelpAge India. In Mumbai, Dignity Foundation runs two dementia day care centres, in Dadar and Chembur. Together they can accommodate 50-55 patients, and 35-40 come partly because Dignity can marshal more vehicles and has run day care since 2004. It also has a centre each in Chennai and Kolkata. Like ARDSI, it sends volunteers to the homes of those who call its senior citizens helpline. Like ARDSI, its chief handicaps are lack of funding and awareness. The daily schedule here is much the same as at ARDSI, except for animal assistance therapy, says Neha Shah, Dignitys general manager. Rohini Fernandes of the Animal Angels Foundation brings Buddy, a Labrador, to see the day care patients in Dadar once a week. You cant really cure dementia, says Fernandes, a trained psychiatrist, but you can reduce its progression if you keep the person engaged. And Buddy is a big help. A patient who may yell at an attendant is extra nice to our

dog. They dont feel threatened by the animal. Nor do they refuse to walk him, or to brush him down good for motor coordination. Some save biscuits to give Buddy. He also helps them talk. A lot of clients when they interact with Buddy they talk about pets they had. They also talk to each other about Buddy. During the one-hour session, Buddy spends a few minutes with each of the 15 or so patients. *** Asked about long-term institutional care, Shailesh Mishra of ARDSIs Mumbai chapter says, The re are only six specialised centres in India. Four are in Kerala, one each in Bangalore and Neral, near Matheran. The last two are upmarket, at Rs 15,000-20,000 a month. Rather than long-term care, he says, we need day c