Medical Home Care Service - a community-led program

Status: Needs urgent help
Time needed: 
Two weeks or more

Caring for elderly relatives who suffer from chronic illness and/or Alzheimer's Disease is a huge burden for the very poor of Vijayapuram. The quality of life for the bed-ridden elderly patients can be miserable, as the financial burden of taking relatives to seek medical attention can be too much for some. This Task seeks fresh ideas, links, advice and fund-raising ideas around setting up a community-programme where medical and palliative care can be provided to bed-ridden patients, by locally trained community volunteers and trained medical staff such as Nurses and Doctors. See Joseph's personal letter below to all Neighbours.

Dear neighbours,
My project is medical home care for the poor and the needy old patients especially the Alzheimers patients in my village. First of all I may invite your attention to the fact that in our country there is no practice of Medical Home Care Service for the old patients by Doctors and nurses. So the poor and old including the Alzhiemers patients do not get proper attention and nursing in their homes. The poor families are unable to provide them with nutritious food sufficient medicines and medical care. Even though there are Multi Speciality Hospitals, they are out of reach for the poor as they are expensive and profit motivated. In Government Hospital also there are no facilities for better treatment to the poor due to the corruption among the Doctors and other staff. Considering these financial problems the poor families do not care to take sick old patients to hospital. This is very miserable and sympathetic. The poor people are unable to provide their dear ones with the expensive treatment. In these circumstances the poor old and chronic diseased will become victims of huge debt poverty and disappointment. So it is my great wish to help the poor sick old patients by providing them with free medical care nutritious food, treatment, as well as medical supplies. I was inspired to help the sick and old people by my parents.
But at present, even though I have good will to do all these I require some help out side to run this just like the vehicles need four wheel to run.

Thanking you


Hi Joseph, I contacted about 2-3 people here ion Nabuur who may be able to provide advice to you about your idea of a home-stay business.
To help them out have you been able to do any kind of research to find out what the competition is in the area you live? Are there othr home-stay oportuntiies for tourists? What other info can you provide about our idea?


Thank you for your message. We have searched out NNPC according to your advice and there by contacted the Palliative Care Unit at Calicut Medical college, as per the following website and email, There, one Mr. Anil give us the phone number of Mr. Praveen MG, Secretary of the Kerala Chapter of the Indian Association of Palliative Care (Ph: 09447312341). We have contacted him and fixed and appointment on 2-5-09, 4 P M. We hope that the meeting will be very helpful to us.
So also we have discussed about the homestay programme once again. As you have mentioned their will be much competition in this field. But the attraction of our scheme is that their will be tax exemption for donations which will be utilized for the humanitarian purpose by this charitable trust. For this purpose we wish to make a propaganda through website. Would you help us to find out a partner to help us through nabuur itself. If it will be possible it is better.
Would you also find out the details of the SMS that is send through the phone. Unfortunately that message was lost together with the phone. So also we have got one message from the nabuur (Pelle Aardema) stating that the students of Dutch School, wish to help us by providing a website as their assignment. But that message also was deleted by chance. We hope to have a one website for this purpose. Would you also help us contact with Pelle Aardema to take the next step to us.
We have contacted with Oxfam Germany for funding. But they have informed us “Unfortunately, Oxfam Germany is a small organization with very limited resources. Accordingly, we do not have the means to enter into direct partnerships with associations that present themselves to us spontaneously. For the time being, we must limit our partners to other members of the Oxfam family and organizations that already have experience working with members of Oxfam International.

As a fairly new organization, our limited resources prevent us from funding a great deal of projects which we would otherwise gladly consider.

We hope that this situation will change over the coming years and that we will be able to respond to project proposals like yours in a more constructive way.

We still wish you the best of luck and success with your project.”
Awaiting your reply.
Best regards
Joseph A M, for HREASEDC


Hi Jospeh, that is great news that youhave managed to set up a meeting with Mr Praveen!! We can work on your strategy in this meeting- the kind of things you might like to talk with him about- and how they might be able to help you! More about that later on.

Secondly, I have emailed Pelle about the SMS and hope that he gets back to you very soon. Let me know if he doesn't.

Your letter back from Oxfam is a typical letter that many others on Nabuur would have received when seeking assistance. Do not be disheartened. It is true they are small organsisations that have very limited funds! Like HREASEDC

ABout the home-stay and getting tax exepmtion. Now I am not an expert in this area- however I know that unless you make a donation to a charity in Australia, you cannot claim tax exemption from charities based overseas. Do you need to set yourself up in India under special not-for profit category or even Charity category so that Inidian nationals can claim tax exemption if they donate to you? Try and find out about that.

More later...


Hi everybody,
Carolyn asked me to join the discussion. Can you please give me a little up-date about what your goals are and what you ask the volunteers form Nabuur to do for you? I do understand that you want to develop a home stay for poor old people.Can you answer my queations?
1. Is there in your village a possibility for people to go to a doctor/ hospital?
2. Do you want to develop the home- stay in you own village?
3. How many people do you want to help in the home stay?
4. Do you want to run the home only with volunteers?
5. Is there already a house/ building where the home stay could be developed?

I think it's realy important to thnk about what you want the Nabuur volunteers to do for you. When we know some more about your goals for the future there can be created some volunteer tasks, that way volunteers can contribute their knowledge and help you develop your project
Warm regards, Lotte


Hello Lotte- thanks so much for offering to help Joseph and his group.
I'll just jump in here and clarify a couple of things about what Joseph wants to achieve here.

Firstly- the main problem he would like to address is the fact that in his locailty there are many very poor and elderly people who are bed-ridden and home-bound. Their families try very hard to look after them however this becomes increasingly difficult as each time their elderly relatives get sick or need medical attention, they have to be taken to hospital for medical attention. This costs a lot of money. Even hiring a taxi to get to hospital costs a lot of money to these families who really earn very little money and are often already in debt. Jospeh would like to establish a Medical Home- Care Program where qualified and trained medical staff / nurses/ assistants can visit people in their homes(with an equipped ambulance) to help with their care. Primarily these people suffer from Dementia and/or other chronic illnesses.

The second part of this project is that Joseph needs to find ways to fund the program. Whilst we are trying to find contacts with national and international organisations, he and his organisation have come up with the idea of promoting a tourism home-stay program in the Kottayam (Kerela state) district. As this area is a beautiful and interesting place to visit in India, and already has a good tourist trade, they are thinking of offering a home-stay accomodation option to tourists as a way of earning income to help fund the medical home care program.

Lotte- the reason I asked for your help is that you have made some great contributions to other tourism porjects on Villlage. Are you able to provide an guidance or ideas to Jospeh about this kind of tourism business? They need to figure out if this kind of business is profitable, do-able, accessible etc and how much effort it will take. I am not ann expert in this field- hence I am seeking other Neighbours input on Joseph's behalf.
If you can provide any advice that would be wonderful. Thank you!


Hi Joseph- we have made a very small step forward! Today i received an email from AID (Association for India's Development). The gentleman in the US chapter has copied a couple of people from the Chennai AID chapter on his reply to me. I know Chennai is NOT close to Kerela but at least it is an Indian based contact that might open opportunities for you.
In the email the person asked if your group has an FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) clearance. This is provided by the govt. to NGOs to enable them to receive funds from outside India.
Is this soemthing you have? Or do you know anything about it? This should be investigated.

I'll write to you via email about getting a response together for AID Chennai.
Regards Carolyn


Hi Carolyn,
Thanks for the up-date. So I understand their is a need to develop a home-stay business for tourists to generate money for the ambulance project. And the ambulance project is a project to visit sick elderly people in their own home. It would be great to create a new task in the village where we can discuss about the tourism project. Otherwise I think it's difficult for us and other neighbours to get a clear view on the different discussions.
Warm regards, Lotte


I was just thinking about a projoct in the Netherlands. Where you can 'adopt a granny' via internet. The project is aimed on elederly people in eastern europe. You can read somthing about it on: (in Dutch) or (in English)
People are asked to pay $25 a month to sponsor the elederly people. It's run by a Dutch organasation maybe we can try to develop somthing like that? I could also try to get in contact with the organastion and ask if they have some advise for us.
Warm regards, Lotte


Hi Lotte- yes you have understood the basic project and the reason for exploring the tourism business too!
I don't have facilitor access to this village but will see about getting this in the next couple of days. I agree that seperating the 2 aspects of the project is a good idea now.


That sounds like a fabulous idea! If you can investigate a little further we would be very grateful!
I'll take a look at the website too.


Hello everyone,

Carolyn invited me to join your village. With pleasure!

I have some questions:
- Is there already some kind of tourism present?
- If yes, do those tourists visit your village or do they pass it during their trip?
- Are there any tourist attractions near by?

We need to identify the current tourism situation first.

Best wishes, Jenny


Hai Carolyn,
Sorry for the delay in sending the message. We were very busy in contacting the persons you have mentioned in the earlier message. There was a very positive result for our effort. We were able to contact the important persons relating to “palliative care” according to the advice of yourself and that of Dr Brahm. We were in contact with Mr Praveen and Mr Tommy who are in charge of the palliative care unit in Kottayam and they have encouraged our members to conduct the awareness seminar on 8-5-2009. Now we are very busy in arranging the seminar. We have planned to carry out our project of medical home care service together with palliative care under the organization “HREASEDC”.
We are very much thankful and obliged to you and Mr Brahm for helping us in our efforts. We are also thankful to you for contacting the funding agencies for us. Your work and help is great and sincere .Thank you for your co-operation and investigation in this field. We wish your support and advice always. We are also thankful to you for inviting Madam Lotte and Madam Jenny in the discussion programme in connection with our ‘homestay’ business for raising funds for the Medical Home Care project. The reply to their questions will be given ‘asap’

Thanking you
Joseph A M


Dear Bram,
It is long time that we have contacted. This is because we were busy in contacting the persons you have mentioned in your earlier messages in connection with palliative care units. They have initiated us to start palliative care together with our project “Medical Home Care service”. Even though we have to overcome many problems we have decided to conduct an awareness seminar about palliative care, on 8-5-2009. In this connection we are thankful to you for your investigations and comments relating to our project. Madam Carolyn has also helped a lot in investigating the AID and other organizations for raising funds to our project. So we are also grateful to her. Now we are reaching the first step. It is happy news to all. Awaiting your co-operation and comments.
Thanking you
Joseph A M


Hello Joseph, that is excellent news about the seminar you will be supporting this week. That is a ver positive step forward. The more awareness you are able to raise within your local community the better your chances of enlisting their help when you need it.
It would be great if you can take photos of the seminar and post on Nabuur so that we can all see. This is also evident to other organisations about the things you are doing to help your community. Let us know how it goes.
Regards Carolyn


Joseph, I have two bits of information to share with you-
firslty- take a look at this website It's purpose:In a democracy like India's, sustainable solutions to society's problems can only be found though the collaboration and involvement of all stakeholders. Karmayog, established in 2004, is a unique organisation that connects citizens, civil society groups, corporates, academicians, media and government through online and offline methods.
I have spent some time on the site and it is an excellent resource. You will be able to register your group with them and also find other groups who might be able to assist you in the future. They also have a newsletter which I reccomend you join the mailing list for.

Secondly I investigated the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). I have attached a Q&A document. The website also has an extensive section about this and what it means.
I don't believe it is urgent for your group to apply for this straight away, but it would be useful if you did some research into it, read the document attached, so that when it is time to apply you can do so. basically- FCRA allows your organisation to receive prior-permission to receive donations from outside of India.
Finally- does your group have a bank account- or is it planning to open one in the near future?