Udhavi – A volunteer group that provides companionship services to elders in their area was covered by the Hindu last week. Excerpts below.
Their children have flown the nest. They have to take care of themselves. Needless to say, they feel lonely.
Sabita Radhakrishna has founded a voluntary organisation, Udhavi, for such seniors.
These days, aged parents either prefer to live by themselves or need someone to take care of them, even if they live with their children,” says Sabita.
Udhavi sends its volunteers to seniors to provide them companionship or to render some help. They spend quality time with the aged, taking them out for walks or any events, chat with them, read books to them, play indoor games with them, write letters or run errands for them.
For seniors to make use of the services of Udhavi, they have to register with the organisation and also produce a consent letter from their children.
“We train our volunteers to be patient and be prepared to repeat any chore the seniors tell. They are instructed to keep from giving any medical advice, prying into the personal affairs of the aged, discussing financial matters and giving any unsolicited advice. The volunteers are not supposed to give any food or refreshments,” she adds.
“Udhavi is still a fledgling organisation and we seek advice and help from Dignity Foundation whenever required,” says Sabita.