Problems Faced by elders and Possible solutions :- With the number of old people in Kerala increasing rapidly, and one million elderly people added every successive year since the census of 1981, their problems are also on the increase.
Today the elderly populations in Kerala lead a lonely life facing several problems such as lack of financial security, chronic diseases and death of the spouse.
In Kerala, the number of old age homes is on the rise in line with the rapid increase in the number of residents in these old-age homes. According to information made available by the Government Home for the Aged, there has been a 69 percent increase in the number of residents of old-age homes in the state over the past four years. Several business houses and NGOs are also operating old age homes in the State.
Here is a quick look at some of the major Problems faced by Elders and Possible Solutions :
All the retired people do not get enough money as pension and are forced to live at the mercy of their children. However, few people continue to work even after retirement, if their health permits, to become financial independent.
The biggest problem arises when their children are either not able to support the parents due to their low salary or they start feeling that their old parents have become a liability to them.
In this scenario, the elderly people are forced to either lead a pauper’s life or take refuge in old age homes, which do not guarantee first class treatment.
One of the major medical problems faced by the elderly is failing eyesight. The elderly belonging to the age group of 60 to 70 years has the highest incidence of diabetes while more than 50 percent of all the age groups of elderly are suffering from ailments like high blood pressure. The chronic ailments require life-long treatment and medication, which becomes a huge financial burden for the elderly.
Loneliness is another major problem that plagues the older people mainly due to loss of spouse, relatives and friends along with weak health, which restricts their participation in social activities.
As they are alienated from most of the social roles they once performed, they are likely to feel lonely and isolated. Chronic health problem would lead to social isolation, which might lead to depression and other emotional problems.
To overcome loneliness, elderly must keep themselves engaged in meaningful activities. They can go a walk in the morning or in the evening, which will give them physical exercise. It will also give them an opportunity to meet and interact with other people of the same age. They can join clubs or can pursue other interests to keep themselves constantly engaged in some or the other activity.
Recreation clubs where people of same ages sit together and discusses on various topics, read newspapers and magazines, watch television and listen to music can provide great relief.
Apart from that, the old age homes should provide proper and periodic health checkups to the inmates by good doctors and, if necessary, arrange for hospitalization.
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