Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Challenges involved in helping mentally ill elderly patient in Puttaparthi

The contents below have been taken from my Facebook post,, (slightly edited):

[The post is a share-comment of Facebook post,]

Great service from Terry Reis Kennedy and the Tibetan couple to the lady who is ill now. Surely, this good Karma of theirs will not go in vain.

Heart-wrenching account of what the mentally ill and their care-givers have to go through. About NIMHANS (govt. run mental health hospital in Bangalore), Terry wrote, "In this free government hospital all are mostly poor patients tended by their poor families. All creeds and all colors suffering as if with one heart, overseen by the One God, the Creator, who ministers to us. The love expressed by the caregivers was so moving. God in the form of Loving Mother, wiped sweaty brows, gave sips of water, steered the patients to the toilets, cleaned and washed their wives, mothers, sisters...for we were in the Short Term Women's Ward." I think it is such caregivers who truly practise Love in action.

Regarding doctors at NIMHANS and Parthi Gen. Hospital asking her to be taken home/elsewhere: I guess they have to follow hospital administration policy. It may sound very heartless but that, I think, is the plain truth.

In the case of Puttaparthi (Parthi) Gen. hospital, it is the violent history thing that may have been the MAJOR, MAJOR issue. The moment something like that happens, I guess that hospital administration has to become tough as such a problem can seriously impact services to other patients. However, the (general hospital is) not an old age home words could surely have been avoided. Instead, an "I am/we are sorry but we are not in a position to help you" would have been such an appropriate statement for the official of an institution of Swami who taught us that even if we cannot oblige we must speak obligingly.

Overall, care for the elderly who are alone is a major issue in Puttaparthi (and, I believe, in many other ashrams/holy towns in India). Those who have the money can pay for local villager help. Those who don't, have a rough time, but perhaps not so rough as the places they came from (e.g. big cities in India like Mumbai and Delhi where few will do what Terry and the Tibetan couple did for this lady).

My prayers to Bhagavan to help this lady, Om, through this difficult period that she is facing, and also to help her caregivers like Terry and the Tibetan couple.

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