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US varsity to help Indian elderly

india Updated: Oct 17, 2006 12:10 IST

An American university has joined hands with an NGO here to provide special care for senior citizens left alone at home.

The Kentucky-based Sullivan University has developed a course to train youths to take care of senior citizens who are usually alone in Indian homes while the children are in schools and the husband-wife team goes out for work.

A programme for elderly care has been developed that includes laying the bed and linen, escorting them for a walk or to the bath, reading newspapers or feeding them, or just giving company.

Girish Gupta, secretary general of Respect Age International (RAI) that has collaborated with the university, told IANS: "The idea is to train boys and girls who usually drop out before or after Class 10 and start looking for jobs. After a six-month training, they will be able to find jobs with nursing homes, hospitals or even in homes which have elderly people."

"If this programme clicks, India would be in an advantageous position to cater to the needs of the elderly in the West," said R.S. Goyal of RAI.

India has close to 90 million senior citizens. Eleven percent of this comprises 80 plus population in almost all the states of India.