Anandam – A Free Home for Senior Citizens was started in 2003, accommodating three elders who met our criteria of having no living children or any source of income, in a modest home in Ambattur which was given free of rent by a well wisher. As word spread about the excellent work of Anandam, requests for accommodation started pouring in from deserving elders and within a span of two years we rented two more houses close by, to house a total of 22 elders.
Slowly but surely, with the support of our kind-hearted donors and well-wishers, Anandam moved into its own premises – a sprawling 24,000 sqft. complex built in 15 grounds of land & with a capacity to accommodate 105 elders. The Home was built as a model home complete with all facilities & modern amenities right from dormitories, kitchen with steam cooking & automated machines, dining room, prayer hall, physiotherapy room with all modern equipments, TV & entertainment room, library & medical ward attended by a team of doctors, nurses & attendants.
Based on their interests, capabilities and health condition, our residents carry out many of the day-to-day activities of the Home. Some help in kitchen chores, others assist in procurement of provisions; some look into maintenance-related tasks and a few others support in organising in-house programmes. Why do we encourage this? Because, keeping our elders engaged in this manner has created a sense of belonging in them; being proactively involved keeps them physically and mentally agile; and it fosters a strong bond among residents as they take it upon themselves to look after each other’s well-being. We also encourage the talents of the elders by conducting regular music, yoga, tailoring & dance classes.
The residents come from diverse backgrounds and have equally diverse personalities. Some elders could not be taken care of by their extended family members; some have had very traumatic pasts. Extensive counselling sessions are provided to residents to help tackle a multitude of issues like interpersonal relations and depression.
Our endeavour is to provide the elders the same care that they would expect at their home and from their loved ones. We ensure all basic services and comforts are provided free-of-cost to residents. The quality of life residents enjoy here is a direct indicator of the impact we have created.