Chairman Emeritus of Tata Group Ratan Tata's business assistant Shantanu Naidu is planning to launch a startup focusing on providing companionship and serving the elderly in their day-to-day activities. Named GoodFellows, it is in a beta testing phase now and intends to recruit graduates under 30 years of age to provide companionship to elderly people.
The graduates, called "Goodfellows", would provide a friendship to the elderly and go along for walks, help them with grocery shopping, accompany them to doctors and teach them technology among others, The Financial Express quoted Naidu as saying.
They would also help the elderly with paperwork and e-mails, or simply spend time with the 'Grandpals', he said, adding, GoodFellows intends to employ young graduates.
Problems Faced By The Elderly
With the break up of the traditional joint families and with an increasing number of children moving abroad or to any other city, senior people often battle loneliness. About 5.7 per cent of the country's senior citizens (age 60 and above) live on their own without the support of family or friends. Isolation and loneliness in seniors go hand-in-hand with old age and these conditions are becoming more and more common.
The elderly population who are widowed, separated or divorced experience a greater intensity of these symptoms. Experts have linked negligence and loneliness in this age group with cognitive deterioration like Alzheimer's disease, along with increased stress, anxiety, feeling of unworthiness, depression. GoodFellows seeks to fill this gap.
The for-profit start-up would begin commercial operations in January. Once launched, GoodFellows will charge a monthly subscription. It will conduct many psychometric examinations to fulfill the needs of companionship.