Page 26 - Seniors Today -Volume no1
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to safeguard the rights of the elderly, it is often    against elders are increasing as documented in
        difficult to enforce.                                  the HelpAge India report. These can be phys-

        Dependency is another issue that creeps in with        ical, emotional, sexual, financial, or just plain
        age. People who have been independent all their        neglect. Elder abuse takes place in all strata of
        lives become dependent on others due to bad            society, and is inflicted by both family members
        health or a financial crunch. This can lead to         and outsiders. It is important that immediate ac-
        emotional and mental troubles, as also to ex-          tion is taken against the perpetrators of crimes
        ploitation.                                            against seniors and that every effort is made to
                                                               prevent such crimes from taking place.

        What can we do?                                        The government has enacted the Maintenance
        Everyone has a role to play in caring for the          and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act,
        elderly. Family, the community, NGOs and               2007, to safeguard the rights of the elderly with
        government, all deal with different aspects with       penal provisions for abandonment of the elder-
        regard to seniors. However, everyone needs to          ly. (
        first and foremost approach their issues with          UploadFile/Annexure-X635996104030434742.
        empathy.                                               pdf) The government also implements pen-
                                                               sion and benefits schemes and programme for
        Family members are often primary care-givers           seniors under several ministries viz. Rural De-
        for seniors who are not in good health. A warm,        velopment, Health & Family Welfare, Finance,
        caring approach will go a long way in making           Home Affairs, Railways, and Civil Aviation.
        them feel comfortable. Good geriatric care, a          (
        feeling of inclusion, and financial security can       life-cycle/senior-citizens ). The Pradhan Man-
        make the final years happy. Teaching children          tri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY), is a recent
        to respect seniors and treat them well will also       pension scheme launched in 2017 and operated
        go a long way in creating a welcoming atmo-            by LIC. Although legislation and government
        sphere for the aged.
                                                               schemes have been formulated, a lot more needs
        Our community can also contribute to improv-           to be done to help seniors face day-to-day chal-
        ing the lives of seniors. Nutritious meal services     lenges.
        and community activities can greatly help
        seniors. Assistance from community members
        by way of volunteers to run errands etc would
        benefit the elderly. Seniors have their own skill-
        sets and they can be encouraged to impart those
        skills to others. This will keep them mentally
        challenged and socially connected.
        NGOs play a big role in addressing the issues
        of the elderly and in educating society at large
        about the problems faced by them. They advise
        seniors about their health and safety and train
        volunteers to help them. Some NGOs also pro-
        vide counselling and support as well as basic
        medical services, in addition to running homes
        for the aged.

        The role of government in supporting seniors
        is very critical. In 1999, a National Policy was
        formulated by the Social Justice and Empow-
        erment Ministry which aims to help seniors
        live with security and dignity. However, crimes
                                                             A welcoming atmosphere is a must for seniors
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