Aging in India is no longer synonymous with withering away at home. Retired members of the society are stepping out to live the remaining days of their life with zest and renewed enthusiasm. It is common to see older people living active lifestyles brimming with opportunities and activities. With technology stepping in to make their lives all the more easy and convenient, the elderly are now striving to share their experiences, give free advice and involve themselves in various social events and causes dedicated to social welfare.
However, their desires to leave behind a rich legacy and provide deep insights into social problems on hand are often shadowed by certain problems which make them feel that they are falling behind in this late stage of their lives. Whether it is about issues connected with their retirement plans and pension benefits or dealing with depleting sources of income--a large section of the older generation in India is still reeling under pressures connected with:
• Identity crisis: After living their entire life in the helm of affairs, they suddenly find themselves losing their very identity and very source of recognition.
• Free time: With excess free hours on hand, they do not know how to spend their time without intruding into the lives of other family members, neighbors or colleagues.
• Reduced social interaction: Reduced mobility, degradation in memory, loss of connectivity and physical ailments make their social circle smaller and they find themselves dealing with solitude and despair.
With negligible opportunities to showcase their skills, declined authority and inability to perform to perfection, the aged undergo increased dependency, reduced levels of self reliance, increased frustration, difficulties in adjustment and emotional “broken heart syndromes”. These problems become all the more magnified after the death of one’s spouse.
So what is the way forward for the elderly in our country?
An increased number of organizations are taking up this cause by organizing campaigns and social events to spread awareness about the problems associated with the aged. The need for emotional security and enhanced social support is also being addressed by members connected with social welfare and upliftment of these oft neglected citizens of India.
Along with more old age homes, sponsored programs and free government aids coming their way, the aged are also being benefited by concessions on their medicine and travel, lucrative insurance schemes and other retirement benefits. Counseling provided by social workers and organizations dedicated to the welfare of senior citizens are helping the affected take control of their lives and plan their financial independence way ahead of time. These workers are also linking them to associations which provide a platform for their expertise and experience and help them give vent to their skills and talents connected with arts, cultural activities, sports, business and other important arenas of life.
The aged should look forward to an enjoyable future—by making a new beginning in the right direction!
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Social Welfare Organizations The Cause of Elderly in India