Regulatory Bodies for Old Age homes

The rapid increase in the ageing population has also resulted in an increase in the demand for institutional care facilities for the elderly. Modernization has impacted family lifestyles and structures and more and more elders prefer staying independently at old age homes than being dependents back home. While some elders opt for it willingly, others are forced into living there by close kith & kins. This has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of old age homes in India and worldwide.

But are such homes catering to the needs of the elderly and providing them with care and support to live a life of dignity? There is a need to have a regulatory mechanism to monitor the functioning of old age homes. In the absence of a statutory regulatory body in our country to monitor the functioning of such institutions, a number of homes are mismanaged, standards of care are poor and elders are made to suffer hardships.

Nightingales Medical Trust took the initiative of conducting a state level consultation in 2009 and a regional level consultation in 2012 to bring together the government, NGOs, senior citizen forums and other stakeholders in age care services to consult and deliberate on minimum standards of care and need for regulatory bodies for age care institutions. Several recommendations were made to government and it turned out to be the first step in ensuring that necessary rules and provisions are made to regulate the standards of care and services provided by old age homes.