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Seniors from different nationalities engaged in different activities at Elder Care in Jumeirah 1 in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A unique senior day health care centre in Dubai has become a community hub in its own right as adults over 60 from varying backgrounds spend time with their peers, even as they get access to a professional team of physiotherapists, nutritionists, general practitioners and nurses to address their needs.

Called Elder Square, the centre, which is located in Jumeirah 1, has been set up by Tamara Binladin, a Dubai-based expat, who was keen to enhance elderly care standards.

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Tamara told Gulf News she was inspired to start the centre when she found her 85-year-old Brazilian uncle declining in physical and mental health while being confined at home.

Tamara Binladin

“I realised there could also be many senior expats out there who have nowhere to go or no one to socialise with when they visit their children, who are often busy with their own work schedules, or even move here for good. I wanted to reach out to them and that’s how the concept of Elder Care was born,” she said.

The 43-year-old Tamara, who has been in Dubai for 11 years, said her father is from Saudi Arabia and her mother from Brazil. “I know how important it is for seniors to have a lively environment to enhance their social life and health. Loneliness can lead to a rapid decline in physical and mental health and even result in dementia. But the elderly need not be a hidden lot, and I just wanted to offer them an avenue where they can mingle with others, remain active and also receive any medical care that they need.”

She said Elder Care is licensed by both Dubai Health Authority and Community Development Authority and is equipped with skilled professionals to provide holistic medical care.

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Social interactions are a vital component of the offerings at Elder Care. Image Credit: Supplied

“We have a complete continuum of care, featuring an outpatient geriatric medical centre, advanced day care, rehabilitation facility and various exercise and recreational services,” she said.

A typical day’s calendar covers a range of physically and mentally stimulating activities, besides medical consultations.

“We have a creative time where members engage in water colour painting, language learning, clay modelling, drawing, jewellery making and other activities. Then, there are yoga and stretching sessions. The seniors also get to do physical activities like dance and competitive games which are very popular. There’s also a social hour where they interact with others, sharing a lifetime of stories and forging new friendships. Of course, we include common activities like board games, puzzles, journaling etc. We also have a Quiet Room where they can rest if they wish,” said Tamara.

A dance session for seniors in progress at Elder Care. Image Credit: Supplied

She said the sense of community that the seniors derive from spending time together is heartening. “We have members from different nationalities. Caregivers speak a variety of languages and that makes things easier,” she noted.

“We are still new in the market and are keen to tailor our services to the needs of the senior community,” she said, adding that a number of summer packages are being planned to cater to the diverse requirements.

The centre is open from 8am to 5pm, five days a week.