By: Anisha Mohan
First you are young; then you are middle-aged; then you are old; then you are wonderful.
- Lady Diana Cooper
"We are the only species which changes what we are. A thousand years ago, life expectancy was only 23"
Futurology-Both you are a person who enjoys contemplating elevators to moon and robots with human brains, or you are not. By 2020,’cars will be fully self driven, this is the future prediction by BT Technology Timeline, 2005.
There is tremendous growth in all kinds of fields from health to nanotechnology to artificial intelligence.
Perhaps, the retirement age needs revisions to make use of experienced people for some more time in the interest of national development.
The tag senior citizen is generally given to a person who is between 58 and 65 years of age and has superannuated from active service.
This age limit was fixed based on old finding when life expectancy was lower than 60 years. Now with the advance in modern facilities and new life style the longevity is more than 75.
Scientist, Ray Kurzweil believes technology is developing so quickly we'll be able to hold off death longer. If Kuzweil is right, many of us and our robot friends, will be around for an eternity to enjoy whatever they come up with.
A man's life is normally divided into five stages namely-infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. There are 81 million older people in india-11 lakh in Delhi itself.
According to an estimate nearly 40% of senior citizens living with their family are reportedly facing abuse of one kind or another, but only one in six cases actually come to light. Isn't it a shame for us???
Our country boasts of its great heritage, culture and morals but what is actually happening. Its time to introspect, the fast dwindling culture and moral, or else they will be confined to some spiritual books.
Although our president, Pratibha Patil has given her assent to the Maintenance and Welfare of parents and senior citizens Act, which punishes children who abandon their parents with a prison term of three or five months, situation is grim for elderly people in India.
According to NGOs the incidence of elderly couples being forced out of their houses are very high. The elderly people say a phenomenon called 'grand dumping' is becoming common in urban areas. These days children are being increasingly intolerant of their parents health problems.
After a certain age health problems begin to crop up leading to losing control over one's own body. Even not recognising own family owing to Alzheimers are common in old age. It is then children begin to see their parents as burden. It is these parents who at times wander out of home or are thrown out. Some are dumped at old age homes. Delhi has nearly 11 lakh senior citizens but only 4 government run old age homes and three by NGOs,private and charitable trusts. But are old age homes a solution for this.?
Some senior citizens have the right atitude, take things in their stride, plan well their post retirement life and keep their body and mind in reasonable and good trim. They largely have a positive approach. While there are a few who take a dim view, feel dejected and neglected .Family situations and financial position do play a part in influencing life. Elders lives are more dependant on situations.
The emotional needs are not catered properly. Old age homes however comfortable cannot provide the emotional security that they get from home. Poor health and low income accelarate their misery.
Here is a small story which might open up some eyes
Once a son was so annoyed and irritated by is ageing father that he decided to get rid of him. So he took his father on a pilgrimage to Haridwar, and it was time to take a dip in the sacred river of Ganga to wash off all the sins and while the father was taking a dip, he told his son,"Iwon't get drowned here".the son was taken aback and asked him, "why?",the father replies," because I need to take two more steps to get myself drowned here, that’s where I left my dad years back!!".. "history keeps repeating"
Are our elders aware of their rights?? Parents cannot be evicted from a house without the due process of law if they have been staying there from before. There are three enactments that can be applied.
1. Under section 125 of CrPC,a magistrate can order a child to maintain his parents under the Maintenance of parents Act.
2. The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, says an aged parent can demand maintenance from children in the same way that a wife can demand from her husband
3. The Domestic Violence Act too provides parents with the right to seek relief from any kind of abuse.
A National Policy on older persons was announced in January,1999, which identified a number of areas of intervention-financial security ,healthcare and nutrition, shelter, education, welfare, protection of life and property for the well being of older persons in the country. A National Council for Older Persons(NCOP) was constituted by the ministry of social justice and empowerment to operationalize the National Policy on older persons.
Our parents need our love, care and affection. Spare some time by listening to them even if it does or does not make any sense because that is what matters to them. Make a small effort to make them happy.
"Growing Old is Mandatory, Growing up is optional" …
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A first year medical student at A.J.Institute of medical sciences,Mangalore
Interested in reading,blogging and networking
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