One day of illness sometimes makes me feel so frustrated, lonely, angry and disconnected from my normal life. I can only imagine what my grandparents were feeling as they grew older. It was something similar for Kabir Chadha, Founder, Epoch Elder Care, as well. Sharing his home with his maternal grandmother (nani) led him to understand the different emotional, social and intellectual needs of the elderly and the deep lack of support to meet those needs. “The state of elderly care in India is quite poor. There are hundreds of ‘old age homes’ right here in Delhi, however almost all of them are government and NGO run and are not targeted at well off elderly / families,” says Kabir. This and his long time dream of being an entrepreneur led him to start Epoch Elder Care in January, 2012.
With an idea to enable the elderly to continue to express themselves and participate in activities, Epoch Elder Care works to keep them as active members of the community by building a relationship through their Elder Care Specialist. Interestingly, Kabir says, “Most of our clients are in their 70s and 80s and are totally fine health-wise. Their need is more social and intellectual. Of course we also work with several elderly who need medical attention as well.”
With the primary role focused on being a companion and friend, they also create a plan of care for each individual client; share it with them, their family members and also sometimes their physicians. This kind of engagement and companionship is more so needed especially with the 80+ age group for a large percentage of them suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In addition to being a companion, the clients are also provided with memory care, respite care and caregiver training.
With a name that means ‘a new beginning’, Epoch works with a positive attitude towards ageing healthy. The Epoch team essentially has 3 managerial members including Kabir Chadha and 5 Elder Care Specialists (ECS) headed by an Elder Care Manager. All the team members are highly qualified and really driven towards providing high quality care to our elderly clients. It also becomes increasingly important to keep our loved ones close to us at home as they grow older and Epoch enables this by providing focused attention to their clients in their homes. The elderly get a chance to participate in social events, go on outings and participate in activities that they wouldn’t otherwise do. In fact, Epoch had also organized a full-fledged fashion show for the elderly.
“We launched early this year and to be honest, the journey has been a fine mix of anxiety and excitement. We care for almost 30 elderly people – most of whom have renewed their contracts with us,” shares Kabir on the response received so far to their service. Currently, marketing their business just through word-of-mouth, they hope to become India’s leading elder care organization providing at-home care in a number of cities across India. We sure wish them luck with that. New inroads are being made as entrepreneurs are starting up to meet the needs of the growing geriatric population, a market with huge potential in the country, today. Nevertheless, it is saddening to know that we need an organization to provide intellectual and emotional support to people we love. May be its time I called my mother!
For information on Epoch Elder Care, take a look at their website.