Sneha Mandir Old Age Home … Goa, India

Tuesday, 15th May 2012

Today Shezmin and I visited Sneha Mandir, an Old Age Home …

One of the twelve cottages comprising the home ...

there are no specific dementia care homes in Goa … which is run by the Goa Hindu Association Trust and has just celebrated its 30th anniversary.  It is a secular institution, an NGO (Non Government Organisation) which is supported monetarily by members, donors and ‘well-wishers’ totalling some 2,500 in number.

The Home itself is situated outside the town of Ponda

This is the bus station in the centre of Ponda ...

in beautiful grounds and comprises twelve cottages  - started off with just one in 1982 – with three or four shared bedrooms per cottage (some for married couples too) supported by a central block to encourage interaction and camaraderie amongst residents and make them feel part of an extended family.

The central block has a dining room with kitchens, two television rooms (one for men and one for women because generally men and women like to watch different things – have we thought of that???) a library and a lecture room plus of course wonderful gardens, even a waterfall (man made!).

Waterfall into the pond outside the dining room ...just so lovely ...

In total there are 85 beds supported by 12 trained nurses (in white) and 12 Care Helpers (in blue) on a 24 hour rotation basis (3 batches of 4 nurses/4 care workers per shift) from 9am-6pm and 6pm-9am, with 6 days on and 1 day off each week. Over and above this there are 9 administrative staff plus 6 kitchen staff and a full-time gardener.

The manager ... Alka Tai (Alka is her name and Tai is her title of respect meaning 'elder sister') ... so generous with both her time and knowledge ...I gave her a thistle bag with heather and she started to eat it! In India they have bags holding a kind of tobacco ... I had to explain it was for her clothing drawer ...

A machine with a pot and incredibly fast rotating ball to grind coconut flesh and chillies to make marsala paste ... in the old days women used to grind it by hand ...

There is also a Geriatric Centre for bedridden patients (approximately half the beds at Sneha Mandir) with a physiotherapy and surgical centre (open also to non-residents in the area), a yoga instructor, a mobile clinic and ambulance service (serving 8 villages in the area) as well as a Home Nursing School (funded by the Goa Government) which provides free education to 20 nursing students a year, on the proviso that their practical training is done at the Complex.

Donor boards are on all the walls around the central complex.


Making chapati ... you can't buy it here ... it's always made in the home from fresh flour ... first rolling out a ball of flour paste into a thin circle, then cooking it briefly in a frying pan, then on an open flame for a minute to get the 'bubbles' ... they were so good, I had a taste and then promptly ate three!!!

I thought the most interesting innovation was how the community is encouraged to interact with the Complex.  The Complex supports the community e.g. by adopting children in high school (at present 100 students) and providing them with books, uniforms, fees etc as well as tuition and guidance in various academic fields.  If any of the students show potential for further study, that further expenditure is met by the Trust.

In turn students spend a lot of time with the residents.  They become the family who is not there.  In fact when we visited, there were a group of 5 or 6 young people simply ‘visiting’.   It was so good to see! Music groups, clubs, voluntary groups, dance groups etc are also encouraged to ‘visit’ and people doing interesting stuff often offer or are invited to lecture to the residents … all in an effort to make a family environment and a busy day for residents.

The gardener ...

Another interesting aspect is that all the residents are encouraged to use their skills e.g. if they used to cook, they are welcome in the kitchens; if a resident was an engineer and something has broken, he is first port of call; gardeners help the gardener and managers or clerical staff even help in the admin section:  residents are made to feel useful and part of a family.

One of the care workers ... the word 'serene' kept coming to mind ...

Indeed their motto is ‘home away from home’.  In India children by law are required to look after their parents and so the only reason elderly people need a shelter like Sneha Mandir is because:

  • Their children are working/living abroad (and when the families return, more often than not, the elders go back home)
  • The resident is unmarried and has no children
  • The children have abandoned the parents, but in thirty years, this has not once ever been the reason for admission.

Shezmin and I have been invited to stay at Sneha Mandir this weekend …

Let us know what you think – contact us now Thanks!



  1. I am a resident of Goa for the last 40yrs, a retired Govt. servant. Can I get a place in this OLDAGE home in my oldage? How will I make myself eligible for this facility? I will be very greatful to you if you can guide me. Thanks

    • Hello Vani Peshwe … I think the key here is to get yourself on a waiting list which you should probably do as soon as possible. I shall also email you separately and put you directly in touch with people in Goa who can help you do this. I have very happy memories of my visit there … and have talked a lot about this particular care home since returning to Scotland. I would be very interested to know your progress regarding this … and thank you for contacting us. Yours Anna

      • Thank you Ann. I visited Sneha Mandir, Ponda twice & had the oppurtunity to talk to in-charge over there. Its serene beauty is simply attractive. I think I am growing fond the place. Thank you for intrudicing me to this place.

  2. I would like to know more about the old age home..thank you corina.

    • I am delighted you want to know more about Sneha Mandir … a very special place in my heart … and have copied in Dr Amit Dias and Shezmin Jasani who will point you in the direction for more information. Anna

    • I will be highly obliged if you could kindly frnish details of few exclusive old age homes with five star facilities in Kerala state for my father who is 75 with good health.

      • Thank you very much for your enquiry Mr Ramachandran. You should have received a response from Dr Dias now.

  3. Dear Ann, Thank you for sharing this information. I have an urgent need to to place my 102yr old grandfather in an old age home. Please send me the details of how we are to make contact and what kind of a wating list number are we looking at. Thanks.

  4. Really liked what you had to say in your post, Sneha Mandir Old Age Home … Goa, India | A Carers Voice, thanks for the good read!
    — Harris

  5. Hi anna, thank-u so much for the information provided.. My mother-in-law is suffering from parkinson’s desease and schezophornia for several years…however now she cannot manage to walk, even with our help nor do her routine jobs..also she feels very lonely at home but there is no option as my husband and i go to work and i m scarred that she will soon get bedridden.. I do not have any domestic help and it is becoming v.difficult for me to take care of her all alone.. Would like to know whether they permit to keep such patients at sneha mandir n whom can i contact in this regard.. Request you to pls reply..thank you for your help in advance

  6. I am alone with my bed ridden mother ,I kept house maid from Kolkata ,but she has to leave for her personal problem,I want to keep my mom at your place till I find another maid…pl.reply urgent….regards….gokarn. Mob-7738157363, 9404144671’9869481837,

    • I shall put you in touch with Dr Amit Dias who should be able to help you …

  7. My name is Rajesh G Kalgutkar. I am from KARWAR which is near to GOA state (60 KM far from Margao). My parents were staying at Native place KARWAR .My Father was Army retired person (in 1979). Now his age is 84 years old. He has 2nd type diabetes. In year 2006 his left leg is amputed due to gangrene.

    On August 2012, because of sudden death of my Mother, I shifted my father to VAPI, GUJARAT where I am working in Chemical Company . Now days I feel that my father is under depression as they don’t enjoy here his life. We are taken care of his routine work, foods, medical but he wants to see our home at native place, to meet his relatives, brother, friends. But I couldn’t keep alone at native place as nobody is there to take care of him.

    So I would like to take admission in your HOME, please let me know what the procedure for the . Money is no problem , I will manage but I want to my Dad is enjoy his life very fruitfully. Medical treatment will be free in Navy Hospital INS JAYANTHI, Vasco , GOA.

    My Email id is : My Cell 09374346897 . My Mother tongue is KONKANI, I can speak Marathi, English and Hindi very well .
    Waiting for your early reply.

    • Hello Rajesh … I will put you in touch with Dr Amit Dias who will contact you directly. We are presently in Taipei for an Alzheimer Disease International Conference but will be back towards the end of the month. Until then … Ann


    • Thank you for your message Satej. I have sent your request on to Dr Amit Dias in India.

  9. I am a British citizen with an elderly mum of 87 years who has Alzhiemers and needs care. I have cared for her for almost two years and now want my life back if I am honest. My son inlaw is Indian and I would be prepared to live in Goa and put mum into care there,and I would remain in Goa until my mum died. She has been on aricept and has had this disease for about nine years. She is incapable of looking after herself, though she knows who I am and can have a simple conversation. She also is incontinent and has osteoporosis as well as arthritus in right hip so is mobile for short distances on the flat but cannot manage stairs. Would I be eligable to live in Goa and put her in care, and what are the monthly costs please? Regards Yvonne Thomas

    • Thank you for your message, Yvonne. I have passed this on to Dr Amit Dias to see if he or one of his colleagues can help. As there could be waiting lists for places in the care homes, there may be some complication with where you live in the meantime and whether or not you would need to live in India when you apply for a place. I hope Dr Dias will be able to answer some of these questions for you.

  10. i need independent room,a/c,with western style toilet.kindly let me know how to go about.if waiting time is there how much waiting period approximately is expected.all the charges and mode of payment,, particularly monthly charges and down payments.also please mention rules & regulations therein.

    • Thank you for your message. I have passed this on to Dr Amit Dias.

  11. Hello – I’ve been struggling to find information or assistance looking for a small nursing home facility for my mother. She is now totally bedridden from a minor stroke ten years ago and has to have a bedside attendant present all the time as she needs to be fed, sponged, turned every few hours, etc. etc. Currently I have 2 nursemaids working 12 hours shifts but since I don’t live on the premise I am certain that the minute my back is turned they don’t care for her properly. I really feel having her in a nursing facility will reduce this risk of neglect and have the added advantage of having medical care on hand 24/7. Would love to be able to talk to someone about options, possibilities and prices.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Valerie, I’m sorry to hear of your situation and your understandable concerns for your mother. Are you based in India or elsewhere?

  12. i am uday prabhu iwant to take admission to my father of age 78 years in your old age home he is healthy he dont want leave with childerns . he is staying alone in my native sirsi so kindly tell us admission procedures

    • Thank you for your comment Uday. I will ask Dr Amit Dias to contact you directly.

  13. Hi there,my husband who is presently staying in Goa, would like to look for a place in Goa itself, (Old Age Home) as he does not wish to live elsewhere. He has no medical problems, except the normal ones like back ache, shoulder ache etc. because of which he cannot use the scooter etc.much. Therefore would like to enter into a home for the aged. Please can u send me the details, occupancy available, tyupe of accommodation, charges for that and food my above email address. We would also like to know when we can visit the place and see the location. Thanks.An early reply will be appreciated.

  14. Ur article was very informative. I am on t lookout for a good old age home in Goa for my 67 yr old husband who prefers to live in Goa ad we have spent many yes there. He has no major health probs but Has been Advised not to ride Scooter due to slip disc problems.I have to spend lot of time in Mumbai wid my 83 yr old mom so he is on his own most of t time.I request u to kindly inform via email regarding contact person for finding out details and visit etc. Thanking u in advance

    • Thank you for your comment Rooprekha. I will forward this on to Dr Amit Dias.

      • madam plesase inform to me u have any job in your old age to me 08197520052


    • Thank you for your message. I will put you in contact with someone who may know about any opportunities in your area.

  16. hi i have an elderly mum and dad my dad is 81 and my mum is 73 they are both active and look after themselves.
    I would like for them to move into a home in the next 8 months. We are ready to make a donation to your institution and pay for their expenses.
    i cannot look after them as i am based here in ireland and they would not be able to manage the cold climate down here.

    • Hi Costa, I have passed your enquiry onto Dr Dias. My apologies for the delay in responding.

  17. Dear Dileta, thank you for your message. I will put you in contact with Dr Dias in India. Sarah

    • Thank you for your message Dileta. I have asked Dr Dias to contact you again.

  18. We are the voluntary group from Marcela-Goa having spacial feelings for the elderly persons and wanted to share their parenthood as well as to spend some time with them. It is really satisfying as this home gives all of them homely environment but it will be a great moment for us to be with them for sometime and share their life experiences. please advice whom to contact for this visit.

    • Thank you for your message. I have forwarded this on to Dr Amit Dias for response.

  19. I am looking out for a decent old age Home for My mother (80 plus) as am residing abroad. She can walk a little distance with the help of a walker due to arthritis.

    • Thank you for your comment. Dr Dias should be in contact with you soon.


    • Thank you for your message Andy. I will pass this on to Dr Dias for a response.

  21. I want to know the procedure of addmission in your old age home

    • Thank you for your comment Deepali. I have contacted Dr Dias about responding to you.

  22. I would like more details of your home. My mother is contemplating of living in one. She is keen on getting her name on the waitlist
    Jennie Mendes

    • Hi Jennie. Thank you for your email. Please could you let me know where your mother lives so we can provide details of a home in her area?

  23. Hi Sarah/Ann,

    Nice to read this blog and comments from you people.Felt you guys are so humble.I am a resident of ponda and I have visited Sneha mandir many a times.Its a lovely place.Now I am married and settled in panjim.

    I need your help and i hope you can provide me some assistance.
    My dad is a dymentia patient. He stays in ponda with my un married brother.I need a full time nurse to stay at our residence in Ponda.
    We don’t want to keep him in sneha mandir because we want him to be @ his home as my brother can look after him.He walks , eats on his own and is in a proper condition.
    He needs help and care to manage his daily routines.

    I have tried many nursing institutes in goa, also got him a care taker frm a institute in panjim.But they dn’t look after the patient the way a patient needs care.

    I hope you give me some assistance my humble request.

    Pawan Khadpe

    • Thank you very much for your message Pawan. I have contacted Dr Dias to find out if his is aware of any service that would be able to help.

  24. hi I would like to admit my nana who is 87 years old how to register her pls help with your contact no

    • Hi Anne. Thank you for your message. I will contact you directly by email about this. Sarah

  25. Dear Ann, Have been trying to get in touch with Snehmandir thro their email ID but it returns a mailer demon. I am trying to get my mother registered there. Can you please put me in touch with the right person.

    Kind regards,

    • Thank you for your message Anu. I will contact Dr Amit Dias to ask him for the correct contact information. Sarah

  26. Hi, My mum wants to stay at a peaceful & neat place in Goa. She is a retired doctor. I have heard only good things about your place and wanted to know if I can enrol her in the waiting list.

    Your help is much appreciated


    • Thank you for your message, which I will pass on to Dr Dias in Goa.

  27. Sarah, please provide me with details about the facilities and admission process at Sneha Mandir. Thank you.

    • Henrietta, thank you for your message. I will contact Dr Dias about getting this information to you. Sarah

  28. i hav been there it i s awosome expeirence

  29. Hi,

    I would like to enquire about occupancy in old age home , please share me the contact number so I will put one of my relative on waitlist. We are orignially from Goa and settled in Mumbai. My maternal aunt is childless.

    • Hi Darshan. I will contact Dr Dias about getting this information to you. Sarah

  30. I have my father who is 90 years of age. he has been living with my sister for the past 23years and it is becoming increasinggly difficult for her family to live their normal life with all the sacrifices they have made looking after him. I wiould like to have him try living in a place like Sneha mandir. Could you please tell me what the formalities are along with costs.
    Your response will be appreciated.


    • Hi Danny. Thank you for your message. I will pass your contact details on to Dr Amit Dias who should be able to help you. Sarah

      • Hi Sarah,

        I have not yet heard from Dr Amit Dias. can you help out please. I am eagerly awaiting a response.


        • Hi Danny. I will chase Dr Dias about this.

  31. Hi, I have read many wonderful comments about this place and the interest shown by people thro’ their letters. I shall be very thankful if you could kindly let me know some more information abouy the organisation and the terms of admission etc. I am presently 65 yrs old and I am thinking about the future. Warm regards.
    Ajit Gupchup

    • Thank you for your comment Ajit. I have passed this on to Dr Amit Dias. Hopefully he will be in contact soon.

  32. My mother is 79 and lives alone in a house at Thivim. She is fiercely independent and would like to live in a home. I can see a decline setting in. memory and cognition is not as sharp. I would like to put her name on the wait list as I think she may not manage independently very soon. Sorry I did not followup earlier.I would like to know more of your criteria, facilities and costs. I am visiting Goa this month and would like to meet to know more.
    regards Jennie

  33. Hi! I wish to know if there is any paid home in goa where a totally blind lady of about 65 years can be taken good care of?
    Please send me the full details along with the facilities and charges.

    • Hi Josephine. I have passed your comment on to Dr Dias to see if he has any knowledge of a suitable home.

  34. Hi,
    I am Planning for a Staff Picnic, We have been to many places, I have gone through your website and I am very touch reading all the comments. We would like to visit your place,. just wanted to know whether we have to take prior appointment or can we come directly.


    • Thank you for your comment Zoheb. I will email Dr Dias about this.

  35. Hi,

    It was wonderful to read about this home. My mum is 75 years old and kept good health till recently. She had a fall & fractured her hip and thus is temporarily bed-ridden. Additionally she suffers from vertigo and now is showing early signs of dementia. She is in an old age home on the outskirts of Mumbai but that home is very basic and unable to provide medical assistance and continuous care. She currently needs 24/7 assistance as she forgets she is unable to move and tries to get up thus increasing her risk of falls. I am looking for a home that can cater to her needs in or around Mumbai as I live abroad after marriage. I’m hoping either you can help guide me in finding a suitable home or connect with someone who can.

    Thanks so much,


    • Thank you for your message Rochelle. I will pass your message on to Dr Dias in India to see if he is able to help at all. Sarah

  36. Hello Ann
    I’m Maya, 22 years old from Denmark. I’m a student of Care Helper and we have been studying a lot about Alzheimer lately. We have got an opportunity to go abroad and do our intern starting of next year for 5 weeks. I was actually thinking if it’s possible to come at Sneha Mandir and do internship? I can speak hindi as well. I’ll be waiting for your answer.
    best regards

    • Thank you for your comment Maya. I will contact Dr Dias in India to see if he can help to find out if this is possible. Sarah

  37. Hi..

    My mother (age 65) has been diagnosed with Alzheimer/dementia and is also suffering form diabetes. My father(age 69) lives with her and is her only care taker.
    He has been having lot of problems trying to take care of her alone.

    I would like to know if both of them get a place to live in Sneha Mandir.
    Let me know the process.


    • Hi there. Thank you for your comment. I have passed this on to Dr Dias and hopefully you will hear back from one of us very soon. Sarah

  38. There is a 65 years old woman bedridden with arthritis, can sit up eat brush teeth but needs bed pan. Would like to admit her into your institution. Thank you sincerely.

    • Hi John,
      Thank you for your comment. I will respond to you via email.

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