Editorial | Need for hospices?

In a world that is dominated by conflicts among the global powers, furious competition in the economic space, and now a yearlong battle against covid, many issues have got sidelined. There are the issues that matter in the social space and these are the matters that actually decide the fate of families. One such issue is the wellbeing of our elderly population, particularly those with prolonged illnesses. At a place like ours where people are not so health conscious, and the resources available with an average family also limit the options, health always becomes a casualty. We are a victim of malnutrition, life style problems, and also of self-medication. All this, cumulatively, causes problems in the old age. Since there are no societal, or governmental support systems, entire burden falls on the shoulders of the family. But in certain cases it is not possible for the family to manage the crisis the happen because of prolonged illnesses of the elderly in the family.  It is not just about the resources, and caregiving, the real problems lies somewhere else.

The impossibility of handling such patients in home space is the main challenge. The elderly patients who have mobility issues find themselves in a pathetic condition. Now that winter is here, chances of such ailments are more; it is time the concerned government officials, and the societal organisations that work in this space, take a serous view of this problem. There is a need for some collective support system for such patients. If there could be a specialised caregiving space for such patients it would be a great relief for them. The families of such patients can jointly contribute for the upkeep of such a space by paying for the services, and also offering voluntary services. That way it would bring a synergy of family, society and the government. And it would also help in managing such patients more professionally. We do have regular hospitals to take care of the sick, but we have no such space where prolonged illnesses, or the case of lifelong immobilities, can be handled professionally. This makes many people, especially in old age, suffer. The societal organisations that voluntarily contribute to healthcare need to think about this question seriously.