Se­nior care wing opens

Central Leader - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

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

it would

for

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.

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