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“Having new people also means my stories never get old, and I get to hear new stories too.”But it’s not always the young ones reaching out.

Usha Arvindan, 70, contacted The Family Member in Ahmedabad because she wanted to have someone home with her ailing and diabetic husband, while she went out to meet friends or attend pujas.

Bhagyalata Das, 72, says the ‘volunteers’ from Samvedna give her something to look forward to.

Here, she and Priyanka Bantwal surf the internet for knitting designs at her Gurgaon home.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)As families go nuclear, paid non-medical care is becoming a reality for many senior citizens in their twilight years in many Indian cities.

“I realised I was becoming asocial and giving up on everything I wanted to do,” she says.

“I like that we are old and not dependent on each other or anyone else,” says her husband, Arvindan Vyasa, 75.

“We also try and fill in for their children to keep their loneliness at bay.” All volunteers are cleared after police verification; details are sent to the subscriber in advance.Prices range from Rs 150 for 1.5 hours to Rs 20,000 a month for multiple weekly visits and help with errands.“We’re less than a year old and already have about 25 clients and eight volunteers,” says TFM founder Piyush Vayeda.“It’s been a success,” says Prasad Bhide, who set up Mumbai-based Aaji Care in 2012.Subhadra has a weak heart and a fractured foot that has left her partially immobile, which makes it difficult for her to accompany her son and daughter-in-law to family events or on holidays.Often, they would have to cancel, or at least one of them stay home with her, she says.

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