THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Two Kochi-based doctors are on a journey to shatter the stigma associated with old age homes which are often viewed as places where the aged are forced to spend the rest of their lives - sick and neglected. Doctors Shobhana Lekshmy and Jeeji Palocaren are planning to build a first-of-its-kind retirement home for doctors from where they can continue to serve society.
Shobhana Lekshmy, Palliative Care Specialist at Amrita Hospital, Kochi, had been witnessing many aged patients and doctors spending lonely lives after retirement. Dr Jeeji Palocaren, head of Biochemistry at MOSC Medical College, too had a similar experience wherein she observed many of her colleagues were unable to use their medical skills to serve society after retirement.
“We met two years ago, shared our ideas and came out with a retirement home project for medical doctors. It is a dream project for us and we are figuring out how we can serve a dual purpose with the retirement home, where the residents are provided with all the facilities and comfort, and an opportunity to continue with practising medicine,” said Shobhana.
Shobhana and Jeeji found many takers for the project. In all, 45 doctors from various disciplines have signed up for the retirement home.
After their endless search for a suitable place for launching the project, they have finally found a plot at Kangarappady, nestled within one acre of lush greenery.
The entire project will be designed by some of the best architects with state-of-the-art facilities. Moreover, there will be an outpatient clinic where doctors can continue to see the patients.
“This facility will not only help people have access to subsidised medical care but also allow doctors to keep themselves occupied and contribute positively to society,” says Jeeji.
The cost of each apartment will be between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 50 lakh. It will have assisted living facilities to help doctors who subsequently become bed-ridden.
“We want people to move to our retirement community when they are still healthy and able to contribute to society,” says Shobhana.
The project has garnered great attention as it revolutionises the concept of retirement living.
“Chartered accountants, engineers and lawyers too have evinced keen interest in the project. But, for now, we are limiting our membership exclusively to doctors,” said Shobhana.
The construction of the retirement home will kick off in a month and be thrown open to retired doctors.