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“We must not just be recipients but givers! We must not just be keepers but donors! Giving brings relief and sharing enlightens the heart. Caring joins and showing love is life. It is never enough to acquire all acquisition.”

It is never enough to have all our ambitions. We must endeavour to give for giving out of a true heart is true love and true love is life. And the living examples of this quote are none other than Dr.Mrigna Nagraj, Founder 50 Plus Assist Pvt. Ltd. with whom we had an amazing interview and here are some glimpses for you.

Our very first step in the incredible direction

At 50 plus Assist we believe that while a person’s lifestyle may change as they get older, their ability to enjoy life should not. We provide help and advice to those who want to age in place – and remain in the home they love for as long as they’d like to.

Our vision is to increase the quality of living of every elder we get a chance to work with. To create a space of comfort and trust, where they know that they are loved and will be taken care of.

We made changes as time and demand dictated, and it worked outwell

The entire world is going through changes that were least anticipated. Just a year and a half ago, if someone told us that we would be conducting sessions for our elderly through Skype and zoom calls, we would have thought of it as impossible. But, a difficult time helps us come up with interesting solutions. We always worked on making our elders tech-savvy and that was put to really good use during the pandemic. It helped both our company and our clients to escape the terrifying loneliness of the series of lockdowns the pandemic brought.

During the second wave, we extended services to covid-19 affected families as well.

As we are gradually returning to reality, everything has changed. We are creatively working in PPE kits and still managing to create the connection with our elders and ensuring that they are happy with the work that we do.

Our inspiration for costiveness

My first-hand experience in caring for my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s had instilled in me a passion and empathy for the elderly that proved to be a turning point in my life.

This happened when I started living with my grandmother and realized we were not equipped to take adequate care of her. This was an unaddressed health care issue in India. It was a gap that I felt I could fill.

Taking First-Hand care of my grandmother helped me understand the needs, concerns and problems the elderly across the country probably faced. I saw far too many old and lonely people. We noticed how parents, often of NRI children were, simply put, bored. All they required was a company and some basic help in monitoring their health. But children were often clueless about how to provide that support. This inspired me to start working in the eldercare industry and later to start 50 PLUS ASSIST.

You come to see us first and get a sense of our vibrations, and then you will be sure to entrust us

Our work primarily focuses on forming strong interpersonal relationships. We always become a part of the family we work with. We ensure that a relationship based on strong trust is built between us and the family of the senior. To entrust your old parents in someone’s hands is a huge decision, especially given how difficult it can be to be confident of someone’s intentions these days. We know this and we ensure that the entire family is comfortable with the person working with their elderly. They know that they can pick up their phone and call us any time of the day and we will do our best to make sure that the senior is taken care of. We have years of relationship with almost all of our clients and makes us a huge part of their lives.

Some of hustles but we can come over

Unfortunately, covid-19 brought with it a very difficult time with respect to our economy. Businesses were hit so badly and everyone was struggling. But for us, it was also a time to get really creative and think out of the box. Seniors were confined to their houses for a really long time, being a very vulnerable group. Many of their children don’t live with them and they were also helpless. We started doing everything from getting them their groceries to getting their staff vaccinated as soon as possible. This really reduced the burden for so many seniors and their families.

Along with this during the month of April, we were working with Covid-19 affected families. The only thing we thought of while coming up with the initiative was that there was a dire need and not so many people to help. But it turned into an experience that helped us really get in touch with humanity. We saw the worst form of uncertainty as we saw families praying for oxygen levels to stay stable, to find an oxygen cylinder when they needed one or even a hospital bed for their people who would lose their lives if it didn’t happen at the right time. Breathing, something we have always taken for granted, became the most difficult thing to do for so many people.

Our phones rang non-stop, irrespective of whether it was day or night, with crying voices on the other end, people desperately trying to find help. When we could find the right doctor for someone, or find a hospital bed after hours of searching or get an oxygen cylinder at the end of an entire day of waiting in the queue, we knew that was making a huge difference in a family’s struggle. The covid-19 times really helped us see how important it was for people to come together and how we can really make a difference the moment we start to care.

This is what we try to do. We create a network based on trust and support in times of need.

Not just a care

We feel it’s time to look at elder care in an entirely different light. If it was an option earlier, now it has become something inevitable. We know that now we have to learn to live with covid-19. Times have changed beyond our imagination and along with it have come so many difficulties that we haven’t really anticipated before. Elders are very prone to infections; they need constant care and support. On top of that, multiple lockdowns and travel restrictions are also affecting everyone’s mental health to a great extends and seniors are greatly affected too. We see increased numbers of anxiety and depression in elders and we see the need of addressing that.

Let’s know more about the journey of honourable founder

My journey started in 2008 when I used to volunteer in old age homes while I was in medical college. It helped me understand the needs of the ageing population of our country. So after graduating, instead of going into the usual clinical setups, I decided to work in senior care and joined a company that had just started in India. As mentioned before, my grandmother being diagnosed with dementia and being a caregiver to her made me realise that we don’t have the knowledge, resources or understanding for taking care of people diagnosed with dementia or Parkinson’s. We have efficient doctors with medical knowledge, but the gap in care giving support is really adding to the burden of primary caregivers, who are usually the earning member of the family, also taking care of their own children. It becomes too much for them to handle and it usually results in emotional and mental breakdowns. The system isn’t complete until appropriate support for the caregivers is also given. That’s the need we saw and we decided to fill the gaps and create a complete support system, increasing the quality of life for entire families by stepping in to take care of the elderly in the family.

50 Plus Assist’s helpful advice in a nutshell

We would ask everyone to keep themselves active; physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s high time we take a holistic approach to health. We cannot ignore our emotional well-being for long because life catches up with us at some point. To age gracefully is a skill, and the way to learn it is by starting to pay attention to your current life.

We try our best to ensure that our seniors are not just physically healthy but also thriving mentally and emotionally, exploring their hobbies and skills. The eldercare specialist becomes a person they can rely on to go the extra length in life and also really enjoy it.

To grow in an industry like elder care you need lots of empathy and you need to care genuinely. We understand that very well because we are a company that grew organically, based on the trust of our clients. We learn a lot from our elders every day. More than we help them, they help us learn to live life better, and we are forever grateful for that.

We would love to share fascinating feedback from one of our clients which makes us proud in a real manner

From our client, Mr Ramesh Chandra Malhotra

I want to answer the question that Why did you choose 50+ Assist for your senior?

My wife Nirmal had been exhibiting signs of dementia since mid-2015. I felt that she should have undergone ‘social interaction counselling’ to somehow delay the march of dementia. Therefore in October 2016 on the advice of a dear friend I decided to engage the services of Ms Swati Bhatt for this purpose. However, in April 2017 Swati decided for personal reasons to discontinue our association and recommended that I engage the services of Ms Mrigna Nagraj in her stead. I then had a discussion with her and was highly impressed by her sense of empathy towards seniors with dementia and professionalism in counselling and so decided to immediately engage her services. Thus our long association started in May 2017 and continues to this day despite the expiry of my wife.

At the time of choosing her, I had no idea of the existence of 50+ Assist and engaged her based on her zeal and enthusiasm for such work.

Clearly, it was not a deliberate choice to engage 50+ Assist but a fortunate recommendation of my wife’s earlier social interaction counsellor that led to our close association.

How has the company made life easier for you and your family?

Our family has been associated with only two members of 50+ Assist — Mrigna since May 2017 and Anjali since September 2018. Over the years both of them have literally become members of our family has shared the ups and downs of the condition of my wife Nirmal who they affectionately called Auntie. They were intimately involved in doctor’s visits, taking her for undergoing diagnostic tests, personally doing physiotherapy, and training.

of my wife’s maids to do physiotherapy and to video supervise the same, stimulating Nirmal’s brain through playing word games, painting, music,

Purchase of exercise aids, etc. Their closeness to their ‘Auntie’ in fact could be gauged by the fact that interaction on Nirmal’s part was only through her eyes having lost verbal communication since October 2017. One could feel the change in my wife’s mood if she saw Mrigna or Anjali entering her bedroom. Mrigna also launched a WhatsApp group ‘Care for Mrs Malhotra’ with Mrigna, Anjali, my two daughters and I as members so that at all times we were connected. Despite both my daughters living in the USA I always felt that I could rely on both of them for everything in the same manner as I could rely on my daughters as they were only a phone call away. Not only the clients have our specialists also had something amazing to share about us.

Our experience as eldercare specialist:

“Working as an elder care specialist has always been a very interesting experience for me. I love my work.

When I left school I wanted to be a doctor and work in the medical field and I achieved my dream. It was when I was working with children with special needs that I observed something that absolutely inspired me. The parents of those children never gave up and gave them all the love and care they needed.

It touched my heart and made me realise how important our parents and grandparents are.

The best experience of my life was when one of my elderly introduced me as her daughter. Our elderly have an experience to share and I believe they are the wisest people in society.

My life’s mission is to spread love and joy.

I have learnt so many things from my work; how to love unconditionally and how to keep you positive in every situation.

I personally feel elderly are a goldmine of knowledge.” -Dr. Anjali, Elder Care Specialist, 50 Plus Assist Pvt. Ltd

“As an eldercare specialist, I have provided dementia care and intellectual companionship to the elderly.

Dementia is something that is very personal to me and I want to do everything I can to help raise awareness of this heartbreaking condition.

Being a dementia friend gives you the opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of people with dementia. And understand how you can take actions, even small ones and help your community.”
-Dr. Aasiya, Elder Care Specialist, 50 Plus Assist Pvt. Ltd

“My outlook on life changed when I started working as an eldercare specialist. It helped me face certain realities of life. I learned to take a hard look at my priorities and look at life in a more wholesome way. Most of the elderly that I work with don’t have filters; they don’t try to make things more appealing than it really is. I think it’s because life teaches you that the best way to live is living real. Spending time with people like that makes you learn a lot, you become wise beyond your years. I am really grateful for knowing every single one of them.”
-Sona Elizabeth, Elder Care Specialist, 50 Plus Assist Pvt Ltd.

Something more about 50 Plus Assist Pvt Ltd.

The services we provide are dementia care, physiotherapy care, health monitoring and intellectual companionship.

Apart from the aforementioned services, we also provide attendant care.

Our programs are usually tailor-made for the elders, based on their requirements. We ensure that any gap in the system is filled to give the family support that is whole. Even finding the right attendant is really difficult these days. We use our experience to place the right person at the right place. It’s a huge relief for the family, knowing that there is someone they can trust to make the right decisions rather than spending their time and energy on making them.

Website : 50 Plus Assist Pvt. Ltd.

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