Home Away From Home

Home Away From Home

By Aswasan "AJ" Joshi

Putting elderly parents in aged care homes is a touchy subject. While every family would like to have their old parent live in the comfort and familiarity of home, it is easier said than done—more so now than ever. Not just in the west, but also in Kathmandu, with the present-day family structure typically needing all grown-ups to work, this leaves inadequate time to make sure that ageing family members are looked after for hours on end. There are also times when it is simply desirable for the family to have their ailing elderly live at an old age home with professional care. Nursing homes, staffed with medical professionals, can dispense medical attention around the clock, while also fulfilling non-medical functions—especially for elderly that have been diagnosed with cancer, Alzheimer’s or dementia. One such facility in Kathmandu that provides an array of elderly care services is Naman Care Home.

Naman Care, situated in Maharajgunj near Gangalal Hospital, is an assisted living facility that provides professional health care to the elderly. Known for its compassionate care, this residential care home was established in 2018 after a decade of experience in in-house caring for seniors through Heal Home Care. Naman Care, with more than 35 trained employees, provides across-the-board services—from critical care home and day care center to physiotherapy and speech therapy. This is what sets Naman Care apart from other care facilities; Naman Care has all the indispensable services in its premises. Their expertise, though, lies in caring for seniors with existing conditions. They provide top-grade care for elderlies with cancer, stroke, paralysis or Parkinson’s disease—be it just feeding and bathing or high-level care like nasogastric tube insertion and suctioning. Similarly, using physiotherapy and massage therapy, trained professionals at Naman Care help elderlies with stroke acquire back their motor skills and rehabilitate mobility. Also, for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the team at Naman Care has the know-how to deal with deepening confusion, disorientation, and behavior changes. Patients, if needed, are also kept under 24-hour surveillance by medical professionals.

Naman Care, along with its medical amenities, also touts its commitment to its residents’ non-medical needs and desire to age with dignity. They ensure that the lives of their residents are full of enjoyment and engagement. Naman Care believes that catering to their occupants’ social needs is equally imperative. The employees make sure the elderlies are occupied in social and recreational activities throughout the day with as many interactions between fellow residents as possible. This not only helps them curb loneliness, but also promotes active and healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, things got a little difficult with the pandemic. While COVID-19 may not have hit old age homes in Kathmandu like it did in the West, Naman Care had to make sure they did not leave any stone unturned in their efforts to safeguard their occupants. For the first three months of the lockdown, Naman Care, rightly, did not allow a single visitor. They opted to use video calling to make sure their occupants stayed connected to their loved ones. Even now, Naman Care, while making sure its premises are meticulously sanitized, has dedicated a separate room for all the visitations with both the resident and visitors having to wear protective gears. To their credit, they were able to prevent the spread of infection and have not had a single case of COVID-19 so far.

In December last year, Naman Care applied to One to Watch (OTW) COVID-19 MSME Fund Nepal. They were able to secure a loan from Nabil Bank with the Fund paying the interest for 12 months. In addition to getting collateral-free and interest-free financing, Naman Care is receiving technical assistance from OTW through tailored business development services. OTW is helping Naman Care build relationships with hospitals and navigate marketing efforts for more inflow of patients. Furthermore, OTW is connecting Naman Care to various investors as it seeks to expand its rehabilitation facilities and kickstart a new project that entails building residential care houses. OTW expects to provide these customized business development services to at least 4 out of 10 loan-approved companies through the Fund.