Since its inception, the home for the Tibetan elderly in Baylakuppe has undergone various changes.
To date, there are 36 old people (11 women and 25 men) in the facility. The seniors are on average around 75 years old, with the oldest being 99. The home currently has 6 employees, a director, a nurse, a cook and 3 nurses. Despite the lack of staff, it was possible to maintain a high level of care for the elderly while not neglecting administrative management.
Although some old people suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other diseases, most of them are in relatively good health.
The workers of the home not only help with health care, but also wash clothes for the elderly, help with personal hygiene, clean their rooms and help with exercise to maintain physical mobility. A physiotherapist from the local hospital also comes to the facility. For those who have difficulty walking, the staff can provide a cane, crutches or a wheelchair so that they can move comfortably as they please. It brings food, drink and medicine to everyone’s table to ensure maximum safety and comfort.
Every day, a nurse comes to the home to check the elderly’s blood pressure, blood sugar level, temperature and overall health. If a problem arises, a doctor from the state hospital is called in to provide professional help. This also applies to any necessary medical consultation.
During the covid-19 pandemic, seniors could not leave the campus and at the same time they were not allowed to receive visitors to prevent further spread of the disease. “We are glad that we got through this time without any harm to the health of our seniors.” says the director of the home. At that time, vaccinations against covid-19 were provided to all wards and employees. The Sera Mey Monastery also sponsored the supply of flu vaccines. The state hospital, in turn, helped with the supply of oxygen masks, disinfectants and other medical supplies. The Men-Tsee-Khang Institute of Tibetan Medicine took care of the supply of herbal medicines.
In the spring of 2022, 13 students from the Tibetan Students Association of Madras participated in a volunteer event where they helped care for the elderly in this home for a week. So the students experienced in practice what it is like to provide overall care, from preparing meals to providing personal hygiene.
Another group of volunteers from a nearby camp enlivened the seniors’ day with cultural dances and singing. The old people enjoyed the whole event very much and even joined in singing traditional tunes. In the future, the home would like to organize meetings where they will discuss the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, thus reviving the earlier tradition where students from the local school would gather every Sunday to help clean the house and chat with the old people. This community event was suspended during the pandemic.
All in all, all the elderly in this home receive the best medical and personal care, a healthy and balanced diet, live in a peaceful environment and generally have ideal conditions for a happy life.