Tuesday, September 29, 2009

World Elders Day & Gandhiji's Birthday

The World Elders Day will be observed tomorrow (1.10.09) followed by Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary the next day (2.10.09). Mohandas Gandhi was born on 2.10.1869 and assassinated on 31.1.1948 at the age of 78.

World Elders Day
October 1, 2009
Tomorrow at Omashram we shall be observing the World Elders Day. We now have 35 lonely and isolated souls as residents. Volunteers, well-wishers, donors drop in often and spend time with them and chat with them. Events like Independence Day, X’mas, Independence Day, Birthdays, etc. are organised by volunteers and donors. A number of kind-hearted donors have been hosting lunches for the residents on the day of the donor’s choice and spend a good deal of time with the residents And all this helps a great deal in alleviating their feeling of isolation and loneliness. Today, it is sad to see that this day which ought to have been celebrated at home is celebrated more outside in old age and destitute homes. The reason: today there is an increasing impatience among young men and women and this has forced many elders, willingly or unwillingly, to move into homes for the aged.
Psychiatrists believe that fulfilling the physical, psychological and emotional needs of elders is the key to keep them healthy and happy. Intentional or unintentional neglect, impudence and maltreatment inside the families and in the society often lead to high levels of stress among elders. This in turn could lead to various physical ailments, psychological and emotional disorders and even cause death in some cases.
Elders are like children with their mood swings, sometimes too quickly not allowing us enough time to grasp. Elders need attention at homes and if we don’t give it, they start demanding it. When the elders begin to feel they are neglected, they adopt ways to attract attention from us and at times irritating. Mental agitation, restlessness, falling sick often, nausea, vomiting and even suicide attempts could be just reactions to this neglect by family members. Immediate medical care, physical and psychological alone may not be enough. We need to spend some quality time with them showing genuine concern. They deserve love care and respect for the simple reason that they brought you up with a load of problems and sacrifice.
To understand the plight of the elderly in India today please read my document “The Elderly”. Kindly log on to:
Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
October 2, 2009
“I have nothing to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills”
- Mohandas Gandhi
The Elder that was...
Passages from ‘Introduction’ to “An Autobiography OR The Story of my experiments with truth” (1925)
...My experience in the political field are now known, not only in India, but to a certain extent to the ‘civilized’ world. For me , they have not much value, and the title of Mahatma that they have won for me has, therefore, even less. Often the title has deeply pained me; and there is not a moment I can recall when it may be said to have tickled me. But I should certainly like to narrate my experiments in the spiritual field which are known only to myself, and from which I have derived such powers as I possess for working in the political field. If the experiments are really spiritual, then there can be no room for self-praise. They can only add to my humility. The more I reflect and look back on the past, the more vividly do I feel my limitations...
...But for me, truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in the world, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal principle, that is God...
...In judging myself I shall try to be as harsh as truth, as I want others also to be. Measuring myself by that standard I must exclaim Surdas:
Where is there a wretch
So wicked and loathsome as I ?
I have forsaken my Maker;
So faithless have I been.
For it is an unbroken torture to me that I am still so far from Him, who, as I fully know, governs every breath of my life, and whose offspring I am...

Saturday, September 19, 2009


We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give.
- Winston Churchill.


- September 27-October 3, 2009

Mahatma Gandhi went from city to city, village to village collecting funds for the Charkha Sangh. During one of his tours he addressed a meeting in Orissa. After his speech a poor old woman got up. She was bent with age, her hair was grey and her clothes were in tatters. The volunteers tried to stop her, but she fought her way to the place where Gandhiji was sitting. “I must see him,” she insisted and going up to Gandhiji touched his feet. Then from the folds of her sari she brought out a copper coin and placed it at his feet. Gandhiji picked up the copper coin and put it away carefully. The Charkha Sangh funds were under the charge of Jamnalal Bajaj. He asked Gandhiji for the coin but Gandhiji refused. “I keep cheques worth thousands of rupees for the Charkha Sangh,” Jamnalal Bajaj said laughingly “yet you won’t trust me with a copper coin.” “This copper coin is worth much more than those thousands,” Gandhiji said. “If a man has several lakhs and he gives away a thousand or two, it doesn’t mean much. But this coin was perhaps all that the poor woman possessed. She gave me all she had. That was very generous of her. What a great sacrifice she made. That is why I value this copper coin more than a crore of rupees.

As India continues to struggle with its paradoxes of growth with inequity, of having the most billionaires in the world and the largest impoverished population, the Joy of Giving Week is an opportunity to redeem ourselves. To paraphrase management guru Peter Drucker's words, when we look in the mirror in the morning, we should be looking at a citizen who takes responsibility, a person who as a neighbour cares.

The Joy of Giving Week is the beginning of a national movement. The first of its kind for India, and for every single Indian.
It is a platform for all across the country to celebrate the joy of giving. Whether you are a paan wala in Lucknow, a traffic cop in Mumbai, an idli seller in Madurai, a millionaire in Delhi, a multinational company in Bengaluru, a saree shop owner in Kolkata, a teenager in a school or a college goer in Vadodara….
This is your opportunity to reach out to someone less privileged – by donating money, volunteering time, providing your skills and even just saying a kind word to someone who may not have expected it from you.
All you need to be part of the Joy of Giving Week is to do one simple conscious act of giving. So join the movement, now!

Experience the sheer bliss of "giving" at OMASHRAM

There are 35 elderly, helpless & abondoned souls at Omashram Old Age Home in Bangalore.

Give a bit of your time for them. they feel lonely and isolated. Come and spend a little of your time and chat with them. You will help break their feeling of isolation and loneliness. If your finances permit give them small gifts and get their blessings.

Come and discover the many ways that you can help amliorate their suffering.

The three units of Omashram Old Age Home are located in Vijaya Bank Colony, Bilekahalli, (Behind IIM), Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore 560 076.


Omashram Trust,

#850, 5th A Cross, 11th Main’Vijaya Bank Colony, Bilekahalli,Bannerghatta Road,Bangalore 560 076 Karnataka, INDIA. Phone: 080-26581682, 080-64530629
Web site http://www.omashram./

BLOGS: http://omashram.sulekha.com/ http://mohanpai.sulekha.com/ http:geetaoldagecare.sulekha.com

You could even make donation as a direct credit into the the institution's bank accounts:

All donations are exempt under Section 80 G of the Income Tax Act.
Omashram Trust has also been registered with the Central Government under the Foreign Contdribution (Regulation) Act, 1976 for the acceptance of foreign contributions.
Omashram Trust Sb A/c No. 2433101025253 Code No. CNRB0002433Canara Bank, BTM Layout Branch, Bangalore 560076for Indian contributions.
Omashram Trust Sb A/c No. 2433101006399 Code No, CNRB0002433Canara Bank, BTM Layout Branch, Bangalore 560076 for foreign contributions

Mohan Pai,

Founder, Omashram Trust

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

World Alzheimer's Day

World Alzheimer’s Day
September 23, 2009

World Alzheimer’s day will be observed this month (September 23, 2009). While the disease is generally known as a form of dementia which is incurable, there is a need to spread awareness about this malady because of the seriousness of the condition and the great burden it places on the caregiver. Last year we had a woman resident at Omashram with this condition and we managed her fairly well but one fine morning she just slipped out, never to be traced in spite of our own efforts to track her down and the police who also searched for her all over but without success.
About Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD), also called Alzheimer disease, Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type (SDAT) or simply Alzheimer's, is the most common form of dementia. This incurable, degenerative, and terminal disease was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him.
Alois Alzheimer's patient Auguste D in 1902. Hers was the first described case of what became known as Alzheimer's disease.
Generally it is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier. An estimated 26.6 million people worldwide had Alzheimer's in 2006; this number may quadruple by 2050.Although the course of Alzheimer's disease is unique for every individual, there are many common symptoms. The earliest observable symptoms are often mistakenly thought to be 'age-related' concerns, or manifestations of stress. In the early stages, the most commonly recognised symptom is memory loss, such as difficulty in remembering recently learned facts. When a doctor or physician has been notified, and AD is suspected, the diagnosis is usually confirmed with behavioural assessments and cognitive tests, often followed by a brain scan if available. As the disease advances, symptoms include confusion, irritability and aggression, mood swings, language breakdown, long-term memory loss, and the general withdrawal of the sufferer as their senses decline. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Individual prognosis is difficult to assess, as the duration of the disease varies.
AD develops for an indeterminate period of time before becoming fully apparent, and it can progress undiagnosed for years. The mean life expectancy following diagnosis is approximately seven years. Fewer than three percent of individuals live more than fourteen years after diagnosis.The cause and progression of Alzheimer's disease are not well understood. Research indicates that the disease is associated with plaques and tangles in the brain. Currently used treatments offer a small symptomatic benefit; no treatments to delay or halt the progression of the disease are as yet available. As of 2008, more than 500 clinical trials were investigating possible treatments for AD, but it is unknown if any of them will prove successful. Many measures have been suggested for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease, but there is a lack of adequate support indicating that the degenerative process can be slowed. Mental stimulation, exercise, and a balanced diet are suggested, as both a possible prevention and a sensible way of managing the disease. Because AD cannot be cured and is degenerative, management of patients is essential. The role of the main caregiver is often taken by the spouse or a close relative. Alzheimer's disease is known for placing a great burden on caregivers; the pressures can be wide-ranging, involving social, psychological, physical, and economic elements of the caregiver's life. In developed countries, AD is one of the most economically costly diseases to society.
Charlton Heston and Ronald Reagan at a meeting in the White House. Both of them would later develop Alzheimer's disease.
Since Alzheimer's has no cure and it gradually renders people incapable of tending for their own needs, caregiving essentially is the treatment and must be carefully managed over the course of the disease.During the early and moderate stages, modifications to the living environment and lifestyle can increase patient safety and reduce caretaker burden. Examples of such modifications are the adherence to simplified routines, the placing of safety locks, the labelling of household items to cue the person with the disease or the use of modified daily life objects. The patient may also become incapable of feeding themselves, so they require food in smaller pieces or pureed.When swallowing difficulties arise, the use of feeding tubes may be required. In such cases, the medical efficacy and ethics of continuing feeding is an important consideration of the caregivers and family members. The use of physical restraints is rarely indicated in any stage of the disease, although there are situations when they are necessary to prevent harm to the person with AD or their caregiversAs the disease progresses, different medical issues can appear, such as oral and dental disease, pressure ulcers, malnutrition, hygiene problems, or respiratory, skin, or eye infections. Careful management can prevent them, while professional treatment is needed when they do arise. During the final stages of the disease, treatment is centred on relieving discomfort until death.
Caregiver’s burden
The role of the main caregiver is often taken by the spouse or a close relative. Alzheimer's disease is known for placing a great burden on caregivers which includes social, psychological, physical or economic aspects. Home care is usually preferred by patients and families. This option also delays or eliminates the need for more professional and costly levels of care. Dementia caregivers are subject to high rates of physical and mental disorders. Factors associated with greater psychosocial problems of the primary caregivers include having an affected person at home, the carer being a spouse, demanding behaviours of the cared person such as depression, behavioural disturbances, hallucinations, sleep problems or walking disruptions and social isolation. Regarding economic problems, family caregivers often give up time from work. Cognitive behavioural therapy and the teaching of coping strategies either individually or in group have demonstrated their efficacy in improving caregivers' psychological health.
Here’s the lighter side of it.
An Old Man's Woes
A sad, old man sitting was sitting on a park bench when along came a police officer. The officer asked the old man why he was so upset.
The old man replied, "Every morning I wake up with a wonderful 20 year old blonde. She cooks great meals including sausage, and bacon and everything I love. Then we make passionate love in bed. Afterwards, she gives me a bath, with handdrawn hot water, cooks me lunch and followed by more passionate love. In the evening, we'll have top the day off with a fantastic diner and yet more wonderful love.
The police officer gets a puzzled look on his face and asks, "Well, what seems to be the problem?"
The old man replied with a sad look on his face, "I can't remember where I live!"
Mohan Pai
Omashram Trust.