Old age is a sensitive phase; elderly people need care and comfort to lead a healthy life without worries and anxiety. Lack of awareness regarding the changing behavioural patterns in elderly people at home leads to abuse of them by their kin. Hence this article deals with the issues that affect the lives of senior citizens and further complicate into major physiological and psychological problems.
Birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age are the most crucial stages in a man’s life. All these stages have their very own issues and troubles. As each level passes the physical strength deteriorates as well as the mental stability lessens. It is believed there are over 80 million older folks in India. Since age progresses, various medical issues happen, some of the particular known diseases usually are blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure issues, arthritis, cancer malignancy, joint pains, tuberculosis, as well as kidney infections.
It’s just not a disease that affects old age; there are various other issues that govern the downfall of the health of the old people. One of the main issues is the negligence from the younger generation. Old people need supervision, the laxity to understand the needs and worries of elders make them appear strangers to the younger generation, who later regard them as a burden.
Old people are subject to abuse from family members over property disputes, some of them are even forced to sell their belongings and live in penury till death. Many of them are too scared to express themselves or fear being humiliated by their loved ones.
Elders desire a life with good health, dignity, economic independence and finally a peaceful death. They long for care, love and affection. Understanding their needs and concerns will ensure their good health. Lending emotional support to the elders keep them jovial, which is inevitably the ideal way to live a healthy life. However, for many people, providing care and attention to elders is not possible due to work priorities.
The Senior Citizen Act 2006 (SCA 2006) mentioned that the social, economic and human rights of elderly citizens should be ensured; yet it emphasized on ‘family’ as a key ‘social unit’ to perform the duties of sustaining older people’s livelihood, health and care. Under the subheading ‘maintenance and care of senior citizen(s)’, it states that ‘it shall be the duty of each family member to maintain and care for the senior citizen, according to the economic status and prestige of the member’. It has been argued that SCA 2006 has indirectly compelled the family to take responsibility for the care of elderly family members without considering the present issues such as the increased rate of migration and existing poor socio-economic status in the general population. Furthermore, the socio-cultural and economic challenges and problems of stigma, stereotypes, livelihood and care required for older people are also overlooked by the act.
Elders suffering from cognitive challenges’ undergo serious personality changes; at this point they need care and attention. When they are left unattended, most of them are gripped with overwhelming feelings of dejection, and purposelessness; some of them even turn violent. Regardless of the fact that many of us know that aging is a natural progression and it has its own shortcoming, most of us tend to ignore this and resort to an unruly approach.
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