Following suggestions may go a long way in changing the life of elderly in India
- Efforts should be made to strengthen the family care, because the preferred source of support for the aged is still the family informal system where the notion of care is embedded within a tradition of social obligations that are understood and reciprocated. The reciprocal care and support within multigenerational families of parents, grandparents and children should be encouraged. Traditional values of filial obligations can also be reinforced in school curricula and through the media.
- The Institutional care must be able to enhance relationships within families that incorporate both young and old persons. There is a need for effective legislation for parents’ right to be cared for by the children.
: 3. The existing health care systems are not sufficient to meet health needs of the ageing population such as old age security, establishing old age homes, expanding geriatric services and liberalizing the welfare policy for older persons. It is necessary to increase public awareness of the need for protection of this sub group. There is a great need to protect the target group i.e. rural old and old women and widows
- There is also need for the elderly to remain active, to know that they still have a part to play in the family or community, to which they belong and can make a useful co contribution to nation and society as a whole.
There are four types of programmes which are needed in the country for the older persons
Day-care Centres or Older Persons Club for those who live their families.
Financial assistance to those who can live in their families but do not have sufficient means to maintain themselves.
The expansion of research focusing on the demographic, epidemiological, biological, social and economic aspects of ageing, particularly in developing countries, should be supported;
United Nations has suggested following principles and recommendations for the aged
Institutions for unattached, dependent and friendless persons. Counselling for incurable and chronically ill and
National machinery should he established or strengthened to ensure that the humanitarian needs and development potential of the aged are appropriately addressed;
The establishment or expansion of community based or institutional care systems that provide the necessary health and social services for the frail elderly who have limited or no family support should be encouraged;
Organizations and associations of the elderly, which ensure their active involvement in policy and programme development, should be encouraged and promoted. Training in Gerontology and Geriatrics should be promoted to ensure that policy makers, researchers and practitioners have an adequate knowledge of issue related to ageing.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Employment has been implementing has Central Scheme of assistance for establishing and maintaining the day- care centres, old age homes, mobile Medicare units as well as for supporting and strengthening non-institutional services for the aged. This revised scheme is called as ‘An Integrated Programme for older persons’.