Senior care wing opens
The vision of a retirement home to meet the cultural needs of central Auckland’s large South Asian community is one step closer.
After 18 months of hard work the Mt Roskill-based Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust has joined with healthcare provider Bupa Care Services to move forward with delivering culturally appropriate care for elders from South Asian communities.
Bupa, which operates more than 40 rest homes around the country, has dedicated a wing in its David Lange Care Home Facility in Mangere East for the care of elderly from backgrounds including Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi.
The new Aashirwad wing, which means ‘‘blessing’’ in Hindi, was launched in a ceremony attended by MP Phil Goff, former deputy mayor Dr Bruce Hucker and David Lange’s widow Margaret Pope.
Bhartiya Samaj chairman Jeet Suchdev says it is a blessing to see his dream come to fruition.
In September 2011, the Central Leader spoke to Mr Suchdev about his vision for a culturally appropriate resthome.
The non-profit trust had intended to fundraise the money itself to build a home but the partnership with Bupa is a muchwelcomed union.
‘‘It’s a jackpot that we have hit,’’ he says.
‘‘If we had to do it by ourselves I don’t know how long have taken.’’
Traditionally in South Asian families there would be someone at home to take care of grandparents, but changes in family structures over the years have meant more South Asian people are entering resthomes.
Mr Suchdeev observed how these residents were missing everyday comforts of home life.
‘‘All their lives they had eaten a certain type of food and then they go into a rest home and have to compromise on that, which makes them very unhappy and sick.
‘‘Secondly, they were having trouble communicating because of the language barriers.’’
As well as longing
tra- ditional food, residents were also missing the option of having a mosque or temple to worship at.
Managing director of Bupa Healthcare Dwayne Crombie says the need of the hour is to focus on the growing elderly population.
‘‘That is what most countries of the world are concerned about,’’ Dr Crombie says. ‘‘Along with expertise in providing healthcare to the elderly, it is also essential to understand and respect their cultural and ethnic preferences.’’
The Aashirwad wing can accommodate eight to 10 residents but Mr Suchdeev says there is potential to spread to other areas if there is demand.
New beginnings: Bhartiya Samaj chairman Jeet Suchdev, left, and former deputy mayor Dr Bruce Hucker light the lamps at the launch of the Aashirwad wing. The practice signifies lighting the path towards a new beginning.