HYDERABAD: Old-age homes in Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts are being monitored by the State government in view of the fact that senior citizens are more vulnerable to Covid-19 than people of other age groups. In fact, after a High Court order directed the government to inspect these centres, the Office of Senior Citizen Welfare in Hyderabad sealed an old-age home in Tarnaka for its poor sanitation standards and ill-maintenance of patient records.
“Focus Old-Age Home was an unregistered establishment and had no staff to take care of its residents. It has no records of the persons admitted. During inspection, we saw puddles of urine on the floors. We closed the centre thereafter,” said B Pushpalatha, assistant director, Welfare of Disabled and Senior Citizens Department. She added, “The residents, who were bedridden, were locked up in rooms. Even their diapers weren’t changed. We shifted them to a better facility.”
Meanwhile, in Rangareddy, nearly six old-age homes were issued notices, asking them to improve the standards of sanitation, in accordance with the Covid-19 protocol, and submit a report in one week. “There are 42 homes with over 1,500 residents in Rangareddy. We inspected the centres and found that six of them were unregistered. They have been given time to prepare all the requisite documents. Notices were issue to those homes with poor services,” added Mothi N, District Welfare Officer, Rangareddy. The inmates of these homes are highly vulnerable because every week, at least two homeless senior citizens are admitted here, increasing the risk of infecting the inhome population.
“While we can’t stop taking in abandoned citizens, we have advised them isolation for 14 days,” said Pushpalatha. The Rangareddy administration has made it mandatory to test every new inmate before admission.