We experienced Epoch’s services in November 2020. My father was visiting us in Gurgaon, just before Covid hit us. He fell in the kitchen and was paralyzed neck below that instant. Post surgeries during his physical rehabilitation period in Delhi, he contracted Covid as well and was subsequently in the ICU. During this period whatever recovery he has gained through re-habilitation (ability to respond about nature calls, minor movement in finger, ability to chew and swallow solid food), all regressed. Eventually, when my father was home with us, he needed 24x7 care with 2 nurses as well and an on-call doctor cause there are incidents you can’t plan for. But psychologically he was in a difficult space, he didn't want his children to see him like this. He felt ‘lonely’ for the lack of a better word. He felt his dignity was being taken away. My father is a man who has been a single parent to both his children and never seeked anyone’s help through the last 30 years of being himself (his right hand and leg has been paralyzed due to stroke 32 years ago). Now, he was trying to cope with his new reality alongside battling his physical recovery. This was also the time, I was pregnant with a few complicaies. What we realised was being the primary care-taker of my father in my condition was turning out impractical and unfair. My father needed undivided attention, care and compassion. Considering it was during Covid, we needed to be extra careful while considering our options of Assisted Living option in Gurgaon.

We did see a couple of homes/centers. None of them struck a chord. One could see that they were all equipped with ‘medical help’ and clean sheets etc, but that's not all what a familiy seeks when you have to make one of the toughest decisions of your life - seeking an assisted living option for your parent because you can’t do it the right way like they deserve. Yes, the way they deserve. They need respect, they need to be treated with Dignity.

We chanced up on a visit at one of Epoch’s home in Gurgaon. I was standing at a distance and noticed a nurse and an elderly woman on a wheelchair. The lady was aggressive and pushing away the nurse who was trying to comb her hair. But the nurse was however calm and smiling all throughout the ordeal. Eventually took her around the verandah and speaking with the lady in a sweet and respectful manner as she brushed the lady’s hair. This incident convinced me about our decision to go ahead with Epoch. Treating the elderly with Respect and Dignity is not a given by a lot of homes that we visited. Medical help and one on one care are necessary for some elders who have such needs like my father, but the buck doesn’t stop there.

Further conversations with the team at Vermeer House, gave me the confidence that Epoch’s team of care givers are very well equipped to understand these scenarios and respects this emotion. This could seem menial and small but if you have been a care giver to an elderly, you would understand that these instances are multi fold during the day along side the ordeals which need medical attention. Epoch’s team and care team at Vermeer House made the transition process very smooth. My father felt very welcome and safe quite instantly. Over the next week, we were overwhelmed to see how well my father had adjusted into the routine designed for him. There was a significant improvement in his diet, his behaviour and his appearance as well. He was eating better, unlike how he was fidgety at home. In addition to the routine, the right diet, regular physiotherapy, grooming and warm bedside manners what I believe what significantly helped him was socializing with other residents, who had their own story and were being themselves. Turns out, for my father's stability and recovery he truly needed a space to not feel like ‘he was the only one' and there is a way he could lead his life with respect and dignity. My father decided he wanted to be taken to his home-town in Assam eventually, which was difficult for us to fathom 6 months ago. But not he was in a state to sit for more than 10 mins at a stretch, but my father managed a travel of 8 hours! My family and I owe this progress and stability to Epoch and their very fantastic care team!

I understand there is a stigma attached to Assisted Living being considered as an option in our society. The taboos are multifold - a) That your loved one will not be treated well and will be a mere statistic b) ‘This feels like abandonment. This makes me a bad person’. The first point was my greatest fear with strokes of the second. What we miss in this entire dilemma is the primary goal - it’s not about us, its about their well being. After a point, you need professional in situations as this. This doesn’t make you a bad person, in fact it makes you more accountable for the future. This will not only enable some form of recovery and stability to your loved one but also give the much needed dignity that they deserve. Thats the best way you can help at that point.

We will forever be thankful to the Vermeer team, this was life changing. Thank you once again.

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