Age is a truth that is not felt until it actually befalls on us. The advancement in medical science and other amenities have made the population of elderly people rise steadily. But instead of celebrating this fact, our attitude towards them remains almost the same—ignorable and outright insensitive. They are today being neglected and stripped of every right, be it legal, moral or social, by their family members.
The greater problem they face today is not related to scarcity of food or shelter but of lack of love and emotional support in their lives. We need to start giving our elders their due and do everything to protect their rights and dignity. It would be much better if right from our childhood we are told about this sensitive issue.
Children are required to be sensitized on aging issues early in their life, so that they understand the ageing process and respect its importance. Sensitizing them would also mean to make them treat their elders with care by understanding their issues more carefully.
Several types of services aimed at elders are:
Assisted living: Assisted living provides care for elderly in terms of their personal care such as their grooming, eating habits, bathing, etc. It is suited more to them who don’t need medications on a daily basis. They may also specifically provide for the care of people affected with specific age-related diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer, etc.
Independent living: They provide residential facilities for senior citizens. This is beneficial to those seniors who want to live among their peers. They may or may not provide housekeeping services.
Nursing home: This again provides for housing facilities for the elderly. It includes the personal and medical care.
There are various organizations that run projects for senior citizens that arespecifically created for their betterment. They fulfill the basic needs and look after the emotional support, including the food and medical assistance to them.
The services offered by a related social service organization are:
- Free surgeries to treat the cataract in elderly people.
- Free and regular medical checkup and assistance
- Shelter and rehabilitation programs for the homeless and the needy.
- Educational support to the illiterates
- Development of social skills in them to make them feel confident in a social atmosphere.
These and many more services are being offered under the elderly care project, but they can only work with our cooperation in the form of developing an understanding towards our elders. Helping the elderly is important to make them feel a sense of self worth in their lives.