Pankaj Mehrotra, Elderly Care Advisor
Mr. Pankaj Mehrotra is an Elderly Care Advisor. He serves as a consultant for Senior Living that includes Old age homes, Retirement homes, and Assisted living.
Old age is a sensitive phase, the reality we often hesitate to discuss because of our busy lives. The elderly are left sidelined and isolated. Physical weaknesses coupled with societal and family neglect leave them vulnerable to mental health challenges, elevating the caregiving responsibilities.
With children moving places for careers, it gets difficult to look after the parents. The provisions of old age homes and old age policies are not very conducive.
Several caregivers have come out with a sense of responsibility to give back to society by working in the elderly care sector. Today, we have Mr. Pankaj Mehrotra, Elderly Care Advisor, who talks about old age challenges and possible solutions.
About Pankaj Mehrotra
Mr. Pankaj Mehrotra is an Elderly Care Advisor. He serves as a consultant for Senior Living that includes old age homes, retirement homes, and assisted living. We talk in-depth to him to understand the differences in these senior living houses, along with the cultural and infrastructural challenges of elderly care in India.
Pankaj discusses the challenges that come with old age. Calling aging a gradual loss of independent living, he divides the challenges into physical and mental brackets. Societal isolation that comes in with the word “old age” or “senior citizens” further elevates the challenges.
He says, “As a society when we hear such terms, we feel that they are redundant. We outcast them as if they are good for nothing.”
Difference between Senior Living, Old-Age Homes and Assisted Living
Pankaj calls senior living an umbrella term for any residential service for senior citizens. He explains that “Assisted Living” is a US term, and it incorporates caregivers helping the elderly with their daily chores like walking, eating, brushing.
Talking about the Indian situation, he agrees that things are changing, but doesn’t deny that the policies are not very conducive for the overall development of the elderly.
Pankaj explains, “Disability and aging is not the focused area, and the allotment of social welfare annual budget vs the percentage of elderly and disabilities combined percentage not proportionate. The central government has to take the charge by pulling the reigns of state government.”
Declining Family Support
Pankaj breaks the problem into rural and urban sectors. He explains how mutual understanding between the parents and their children is helping.
He explains, “There is a gradual understanding among elderly also as they are getting prepared themselves that expecting my child to sacrifice career and stay with me is not going to happen now.”
He feels even the elderly want to continue with their lifestyles and do not want to be a burden for their children. To find a middle ground, the two generations are increasingly spending time meeting each other. Pankaj feels that subsequently, the travel has increased.
However, we cannot deny the guilt that children have who cannot look after their parents despite wanting to. This also comes from cultural conditioning.
Pankaj feels, “The situation exists more for NRI daughters than the sons because of the social custom of parents staying with the sons and daughter moving out after marriage.”
In the rural sector, he explains that there is always one member of the family who is in the village to look after the farms, lands, and parents.
More About Old Age Challenges
Pankaj stresses more on the importance of the location of any old age residential complex, which needs to be close to medical facilities. Then, he comes on the importance of aesthetics to create a homely feeling for elderlies.
Pankaj agrees how the pandemic led the elderly towards more isolation. Looking at the bright side, he says they became accustomed to technology and social media.
- A Post Management graduate having 27 years of experience in Project Management, Strategic Planning, Sales & Marketing, Business Development, and Service Delivery across the NGO, Telecom, and Hospitality sectors.
- A conscious career moves from the Private sector to the Development sector in the year 2005.
- Currently involved in providing consultancy to Elder Care Sector. Advising on developing Retirement Communities, Assisted Living/ Care Homes/ Old Age Homes in India which are at par with international standards. Advising on Home Care/ Domiciliary Care business models.
- In-depth planning experience of Aged Care Sector, Senior Living Industry (retirement homes, housing for the elderly, Assisted Living, Care Homes), including development of design standards, market surveys, and old age homes/ senior citizens housing management, Accessibility Standards (Barrier Free Movement), Sustainable Business Plans.
- Have served leading organizations like Age Ventures India, HelpAge India, ICICI Prudential, Tata Teleservices Ltd, Essar Cellphone, Tata Cellular Ltd, BPL Cellular Limited), etc.
- Corporate sector experience includes channel & corporate sales, setting distribution networks, revenue generation, sales training, and designing below-the-line marketing strategies.