Report on workshop held on 8th May 2014

A Workshop on Retirement Communities sponsored by Harmony Eldercare Pvt. Ltd.  & Satvik Properties LLC was conducted by Old is Gold Store- a store for Senior Citizens on 8th of May 2014,  specifically for senior citizens to create more awareness about retirement communities, their pros and cons, and other associated topics.

While retirement communities are not new to developed nations, they are a relatively new concept to India. As a result neither the promoters nor the potential purchasers are aware of actually what support and services a retirement home should provide. This workshop was designed to dispel some of the myths and provide clear information on how to evaluate a retirement community.

The workshop held at Raga Sudha Hall, Mylapore was well attended with over 130 senior citizens turning up for the 3 hour workshop on a cloudy, pleasant afternoon. The workshop was kicked off by a welcome address by Jayashree KP, Director of Old is Gold Store.

This was followed by an introductory talk on retirement communities by Sanjay Dattatri, Director – Old is Gold Store. The participants were also given a copy of a detailed retirement community evaluation form for the use of senior citizens interested in moving into a retirement community. More copies of the evaluation form are available at Old is Gold Store.

The third session was a lively presentation on the benefits of reverse mortgage. Many senior citizens who has unsuccessfully tried applying for reverse mortgage demanded answers from Mr. B Prabhu, Deputy Manager of National Housing Bank who patiently answered all the questions and cleared many doubts. Of the many important points that Mr. Prabhu touched upon, one of the most important was about which banks to approach. Mr. Prabhu highlighted the fact that only Zonal offices have managers dedicated to reverse mortgage and for best results people should approach the zonal branches of nationalized banks (or branches with a Chief Manager or above).

Ms. Sabita Radhakrishna then addressed the audience and explained about Udhavi, the volunteer group that aims to provide companionship and support to senior citizens.

Finally, after a sumptuous snack break, the audience participated very vocally in the panel discussion and open house that was moderated by actor and TV presenter Ms. Shylaja Chetlur. The panelist, Raj Sitaraman, Director Marketing of Harmony eldercare, Mr. Hari S of Satvik Property Services, Mr. Prabhu of NHB and Sanjay Dattatri and KP Jayashree from Old is Gold Store, answered various questions posed by the audience.

The meeting ended with a vote of thanks.

Live-in relationships among seniors

senior_companionshipDignity foundation had a seniors companionship day last week and I was invited to moderate a debate on the concept of live-in relationships among seniors.

It was very heartening to see that Dignity was making people think about such topics generally considered taboo in our society and it was doubly delightful to find quite a few people among the seniors approaching this topic with a positive frame of mind.

The discussants (a new word I learnt recently) were Dr. Prakash, a family physician and pain and palliative care specialist and a dignity member and YWCA office bearer Ms. Sundara Gopalan on the “For” team and an Advocate Mr. Raja Narayanan and Ms. Meera Raghavendra Rao, a freelance journalist and blogger on the “Against” team.

Dr. Prakash talked about loneliness and the concomitant problems associated with loneliness  that many senior citizens are facing today and how companionship could help keep people happy and stave off illnesses, especially the mental ones.

Ms. Sundara Gopalan spoke from the heart and urged the audience and her fellow panelists to keep their hearts and minds open to possibilities.

The advocate Mr. Raja Narayanan, an experienced orator and humorist, kept the audience in splits with his incisive jokes and anecdotes. Being against the concept of live-in relationships he highlighted legal, cultural and social issues associated with concepts blindly copied from the west.

Ms. Meera similarly emphasized on the social stigma associated with living outside marriage and how this can lead to ostracization of parents and the children.

Finally, we threw the floor open to the audience and it was again heart-warming to note the open-mindedness of most of the people there.

As a moderator and judge, I felt that the “for” team was more forward thinking and coming at the issue from a need-based perspective and were able to clearly highlight the absolute need for companionship and the health benefits of relationships.

The “Against” team worried about what society might think rather than thinking of what is good for oneself.

While Spock has very famously said that “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”, I am of the firm believe that the needs of the few far outweigh the prejudices of the many. If all the senior citizens decide to be supportive of those that are open to giving love and companionship another chance, the society will automatically change its attitude(after all, what is society but us?).

Here’s to many more such thought provoking discussions. My sincere thanks to Ms. Aruna Damodharan and Dignity foundation for a wonderful evening and wish them the very best.

Please send in your views.  You can leave comments to this post or send an email to info@oldisgoldstore.com

Come join us on a Tonic Tour and feel young again!

Old is gold Log Tonic Tour

Old is Gold Store launches Tonic Tours – rejuvenating trips specially designed for senior citizens to unwind and relax.

The first Tonic Tour is a half-day visit to Dakshina Chitra, a wonderfully calm and quiet site on the East Coast Road, about 20 Kms from Adyar, Chennai.

The program starts with a ride in an air-conditioned coach to Dakshin Chitra, includes a demonstration of traditional pottery by an experienced potter, and culminates in a special South Indian lunch, before heading back to the city.

The trip has been designed with the special needs of senior citizens in mind and is meant to help re-energize and rejuvenate one while providing an opportunity to rest, relax and enjoy the company of fellow travellers.

An ideal and safe opportunity to get out of the house and treat oneself to a guilt-free, worry-free short holiday that can bring back memories of one’s younger days.

The trip starts at Adyar at 9:30 AM and concludes at the same place at around 3:00 PM.

Don your lightest and most comfortable summer-wear and a big smile. Bring your medicines, but leave behind your worries and your daily routine.  To know more about why seniors should go out, click here.

Tour date: 29th May 2013. Totally only 10 seats available. Registration closes on 27th May 2013. Call 244 66 244 to book now!

Free wheelchair service during kutcheri season

FreeWheelchairservicebanner1December is the season of music and dance in Chennai and the music season has started in full earnest.  Every year, a large percentage of rasikas are older people and this year is no exception.  In order not to miss the performances of their favourite artists,  many of them even surmount their mobility issues to reach the Sabhas.

A quick glance at the facilities at the Sabhas quickly shows that most auditoriums are devoid of even the basis infrastructure necessary for the comfort of senior citizens. The aisles are narrow, the steps steep and the toilets – the less we say, the better.

In order to create an awareness about the special needs of senior citizens, Old is Gold Store is providing free wheelchair service at selected Sabhas during this music season. While this not only provides an immediate solution to one of the problems, it also highlights the poor support that public places in India provide for the senior citizens and the disabled.

We reached out to all the major Sabhas and two of them responded immediately and have welcomed us to provide this facility at their Sabha hall.  One of them is Chennai Cultural where this facility started yesterday and the other is Hamsadhwani where the facility will be available from the 16th of December.

Old is Gold Store is highly appreciative of these two Sabhas for being so sensitive to the needs of the patrons and for being so proactive and forth-coming.  We hope that soon more Sabhas join this elite group.

 

Elders day Celebrations

Yesterday was International Day of Older Persons, a day dedicated to all those people above the age of 60.  Old Is Gold Store along with Kauvery Hospital are conducting a Exhibition with lectures at the Kauvery Hospital premises from 1st Oct through 3rd of October 2012.

The flyer circulated in the area is attached below.

Celebrating Age – India Expo 2012

Vision India is organizing a Celebrating Age – India Expo 2012 across all major cities in India during the months of September and October 2012.  This is a major event for senior citizens of India showcasing over 50 stalls including major banks, hospitals, insurance companies and other companies relevant to senior citizens in India.

The calendar for the expo across different cities is given below:

CITY MONTH DATES VENUE
BANGALORE SEPTEMBER 1  &   2 NIMHANS CONVENTION CENTER, NEAR DAIRY CIRCLE, WILSON GARDEN.
PUNE SEPTEMBER 7 &8 GANESH KALA KREEDA KENDRA, NEAR NEHRU STADIUM, SWARGATE
MUMBAI SEPTEMBER 15&16 WORLD TRADE CENTRE, COLABA,
AHMEDABAD SEPTEMBER 22&23 GUJARAT UNIVERSITY CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTER
GOA SEPTEMBER 29&30 THE SPORTS AUTHORITY OF GOA- CAMPAL INDOOR STADIUM COMPLEX
CHENNAI OCTOBER 6&7 ANNAI TERESA WOMEN COMPLEX,VALLUVAR KOTTAM HIGH ROAD,NUNGAMBAKKAM
HYDERABAD OCTOBER 13&14 EXPOTEL  HOTEL HYDERABAD TRADE EXPO CENTRE PVT. LTD.
LOWER TANK BUND ROAD
DELHI OCTOBER 20&21 THE PARK HOTEL NEW DELHI

Please mark your calendar and remember to attend the Expo in your city.  Entry is free.   To know more, click here.