Inauguration of Training of Geriatric Facilitators


(A Certificate Course of 4-month duration)

Offered by NIHAR through Sri Sarada Math Rasik Bhita in collaboration with EJunction


NIHAR will train young women to provide services that will enable the elderly to experience productive aging through a mutually enriching partnership.  This aspect of the project has been shaped by keeping in mind Sister Nivedita’s respectful care-giving to Gopaler Ma in the terminal phase of her life in No.17. 

Population ageing is a striking feature of this millennium and in many countries old age is nothing but an unwelcome state, absolutely dull, without any interest- that is difficult to deal with extraneous means.

However, the rich Indian cultural heritage and tradition has a altogether different approach towards this problem, viz., Vanaprastha and lot of people all over the world are taking active interest in understanding this age old Indian Knowledge System (IKS).

It vouches that even though we are physically old and weak, our mind can be joyous because of a profound philosophy of human development and perfectness given to us through our scriptures.

If the source of joy lies in external stimuli and capacity of enjoyment is conditioned by our sense organs then with ageing that is bound to decline.

If it comes from within then it can only grow over time as there is no external dependence.

This joy is open to all and we can develop our spiritual life and brighten the old age.

If there is no spiritual background we focus only on body and communicate only our worries and troubles with the decaying body.

But if we train our mind to accept this decay as inevitable and in spite of physical incapacity can think that something in us never becomes old and weak then the joy that will be ours will be universal as well as communicable to others.

Spirituality will give a sense of fullness from within and true inner enrichment will be experienced.

That is why a little meditation, chanting and discussion of classics everyday will take the mind away from this external world and slowly make it inward.

Eventually that will prepare the mind to accept death only as a passage from one room to the other guided by full positive thinking. Since body is nothing but a combination of parts, it cannot be eternal. 

This orientation may start form very young age and it leads to comprehensive of emotional intelligence.

NIHAR is proposing to offer a training course for young girls to groom them as companion of lonely elderly ladies to enable the latter to lead a happy meaningful life through mutual support, interaction and regeneration.  

The young service provider will gain an invaluable first-hand experiential knowledge from the aged partner, and in turn, the elderly will get some help in carrying out their daily activities of living.

This will also help the elderly retain a sense of continued value to society through a gainful use of their productive past, while at the same time providing a mechanism to cope with old-age loneliness, depression and uncertainties of the future.



We propose to train the young girls to provide service to the elderly as Geriatric Facilitator to enable the latter to “live in place” & experience productive ageing through a mutually enriching partnership.

  • During their active life all elderly women had some creative interest or other. This will be recorded in the entry-interview of the care-seeker. In rejuvenating positive energy in them we would like to focus on that waned creativity.
  • During the training period we will take note of the special interest of the trainees like cooking, painting, sewing, designing, writing, acting, singing, dancing, literature reading, story-telling, and so on.
  • A trainee will be assigned to an assistance-seeking elderly by matching their mutual creative interests. The young one will document some productive experiential knowledge from the aged partner and the elderly, in return, will get some help in carrying out the instrumental activities of daily living from her young care-giver.

This will help the elderly to reconstruct her productive past and fight loneliness, boredom and hopelessness and at the same time it will be helpful in mitigating her anxiety about managing the daily activities of living.

  • The young trainee will be given an exposure to Indian classics & scriptures through discussion of Gita, Upanishad, Kathamrita, reading of some selected parts of Swami Vivekananda and Sister Nivedita’s writings and the pleasure of chanting with correct pronunciation and understanding of the inherent meaning.
  • This will open another channel of communication in the partnership between the young and the old and help both to accept life from a larger perspective.
  • It will motivate the old one to” live in present” as well as “age in place” and the young partner will also learn some life-skill from her, resulting into a stronger human bonding and better quality of life.






Since the problem of society & ageing can be approached from different perspectives, physical, psychological, social & spiritual- the entire training will be divided into four parts.

Part I will be on Indian Knowledge System introducing the concept of Vanaprastha, discussing selected parts of Gita, Upanishad & Kathamrita, imparting training on chanting and meditation and teaching the basics of the science of happiness. Here some elderly volunteers will also be engaged to help the trainees to understand their perspectives and practice interaction with them with open mindset.

In Part II the emphasis would be on understanding AGE from psychological, social and institutional perspective and at this stage advanced training will be offered on the elements of Geriatric Counseling, carrying out Mental Status Examination, assessing the level of Anxiety, handling the concept of Terminal Illness, managing Caregiver’s Stress, etc. 

In Part III the focus will be on addressing the elderly care issues from physical aspect and their activities of daily living. There will be training related to the geriatric changes in physiology, identification of geriatric risks and the strategies for risk reduction. Some lights will be shaded on nutritional needs and balanced diet. Along with this there will be skill training on computer, internet, communication, personal growth and mind management to help the facilitator to have both competence and confidence with proper attitude and aptitude.

Part IV will be an internship for 1 month with an individual elderly or an institution engaged in providing elderly-care to get acquainted with the work of Geriatric Facilitator in promoting healthy & active ageing. It is required that the trainee will be able to produce some workable project prepared under the guidance and in collaboration with the elderly to document the experiential productive knowledge that the society can get from her elderly members.




In the pilot project 20 to 25 trainees would be accommodated. They should at least be Graduates from any recognized university. Selection would be done on the basis of an interview to assess their attitude as well as aptitude.



Part I: Introduction to Indian Knowledge System (IKS) [80 hours]

  1. IKS 1: Introduction to Indian Philosophy
  2. IKS 2: The Phases of life, Vanaprastha & Upanishad;
  3. IKS 3: Gita in Everyday Life
  4. IKS 4: Motivational stories from Purana & other Classics
  5. IKS 5: Prayer, Chanting, Guided Meditation & Music;

Part II: Age Management & Geriatric Counselling (60 hours)

  1. Geriatric Counselling: psycho-social challenges of ageing (retirement, empty nest syndrome, grief & bereavement, social alienation, etc.)- Activities of Daily Living(ADL), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL), Sleep Disorder- Depression & Anxiety, Psychometric Assessment, Mental Status Examination, Insight & Acceptance, Dealing with Terminally Ill Patient & Death Acceptance, Managing Primary Caregiver’s Stress;
  2. Ageing & Society: Population Ageing- Feminization of Ageing- Vulnerability & Insecurity- Life-long Learning & Productive Ageing;
  3. Social Policies & Welfare: Constitutional provision for elderly in India- National Policies on Older Persons- Special Laws for Older Persons- Human Rights & role of NGOs- World Assembly on Ageing- International Plan of Actions;

Part I: Elderly Care, Competence & Confidence (100 hours)

  1.   Healthy & Active Ageing: Physiological changes associated with age- normal & pathological patterns- geriatric health-risk identification and management;
  2. Geriatric Nutrition: Special nutritional requirements in old age
  3. Fundamentals of Computer: MS Office 2010, Internet browsing, operating Smartphone, enhancing connectivity through digital literacy;
  4. Functional Communication: Bengali, Hindi & English
  5. Personality Development & Mind Management: Knowing Self, Understanding Relationships, Interpersonal Communications, Resolving Conflicts, Managing Mind;

Part IV: Internship (80 hours)



After successful completion of this training the certificate holder will acquire the following skills:

  1. Helping the elderly to use internet in computer/ tab/ smart phone in carrying out activities like financial transactions, shopping, fixing doctor’s appointment, entertainment, socialization, and so on.
  2. Interact with elderly around some creative project idea to increase her self-esteem, document her knowledge and help her to enjoy productive ageing;
  3. Helping the elderly to manage mind properly to deal with different conflicts, anxiety, depression, etc.
  4. Mental Status Examination of the elderly to assess cognitive ability;
  5. Provide assistance in listening to scriptures, good reads, chanting, meditation and prayer;
  6. Know the special elderly friendly schemes and legal options available in India;
  7. Helping the elderly in coming up with suitable diet plan;

viii.  Learn to monitor vitals of an elderly in terms of measuring sugar, pressure, body temperature, oxygen saturation, etc.

  1. Help the elderly with First-Aid assistance in case of emergency;
  2. Help the elderly to enjoy the last lap of life by living in present and ageing in place; 



ü  Private Care Giver for geriatric people with need

ü  Institutionalized Care Giver for Geriatric special cases

ü  Facilitator for Geriatric Legal Aid

ü  Advocate of Geriatric Rights

ü  Supervisor/ Facilitator of geriatric need based program at any NGO/ institution



  • Admission Fee:                         Rs. 500.00
  • Tuition Fee (for 3 months):      Rs. 1000.00
  • Examination Fee:                      Rs. 500.00
  • Caution Money (Refundable):  Rs. 1000.00

 (Options are there for payment in two installments)