Help for the elderly and senior citizen becomes very important to give them a good lifestyle and health care because it has been statistically proved that India has the second highest Indian population in the world and it is projected to become around 12% of the total population of India by year 2020. Let us look at how we can keep our elderly population happy.
The elderly people in India are facing a certain amount of loneliness and negligence. There are many reasons associated with the build-up of such a situation. Some of the most important and crucial contributing factors to this development are:
- The breakdown of joint family system,
- Elderly people preferring to stay close to their friends and family,
- Children moving far away in search of greener pastures,
- Working children and their spouses,
- Economic dependency,
- A change in the perception of the society leading to generation gap etc.
All this leads to one fundamental fact—there has been a gradual degradation of the family support which would previously provide the much needed help for the elderly. Consequently elders are left to fend for themselves at the mercy of a bevy of servants and care takers for those who can afford. For people who are not able to afford, it is either their spouses who take care of them or they somehow manage to do it on their own.
It is this situation prevalent in today’s society which has actually set most of the ngo India thinking about how to improve the quality of life for the elderly. Consequently they have come up with several schemes and packages wherein old people are not only encouraged to stay active and healthy but also enjoy life in the process.
Some of the projects which are run by most NGOs with regards to elderly care can be classified into:
- Setting up of active ageing centres: It is generally seen that most elders have no active work to do, no friends and relatives to go and no support system even in homes. This leads them to get depressed and also affects their health. The basic idea of the activity ageing centres is to relieve elders of this feeling of isolation and depression and give them something to look forward to so that they can regain their confidence and self-worth.
- Mobile health care units: Post retirement most elders are unable to afford proper treatment due to the high medical costs involved. Also there are some who are confined to their homes since they are not able to go out due to physical constraints. Mobile health care units sponsored by donations made by people who have an urgent need to give back something to the society, are a boon for proper senior citizen health care.
- Cataract surgeries: Cataract is a common problem with the elderly but many a times due to paucity of support system at home, they are unable to take corrective action. This results in them having to give up many favourite hobbies like reading, watching television etc. But today NGO run programs also organise cataract surgeries so that the elderly can live their normal lives.
- Old age homes: These are homes run by NGOs for caring for the elderly especially thosewho either have:
o No place to stay or
o Are forced to stay alone with no one to look after them.
Today most people understand the benefits that they can derive when they make a donation under 80g. Hence with more and more people willing to make contributions NGOs today are able to do much more for the society than before.