Care for the Elderly

Care for the Elderly
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In what has become almost thematic and a glaring omission by society, many elderly of our society have become victims and are suffering. Some have taken to the streets to eke out subsistence monies. This is not merely in the nature of a glaring omission by society but amounts to gross negligence and dereliction of duty. By way of a general point that has a bearing on the issue, it may be pointed out that our society is an unequal one, especially in economic terms. Economic inequality is consequential: it leads to a social structure that is skewed and unequal. This, in turn, means that there are many people and individuals at “ the bottom of the pyramid” who live a subsistence existence. This social and economic class is either daily wagers or whose economic lives are dominated by wage labor and hence economic volatility and variability. If , for example, there is a family of six , with two children, a married couple and elderly parents, against the backdrop of meager income and volatility thereof, it is usually, the elderly parents that take a hit and suffer. The suffering in contention is not only economic but also emotional and social at a point in their lives where the elderly are most vulnerable and dependent. There are also issues of dignity and self worth involved here. Dependency of any kind, especially the economic one, hampers the sense of self of these vulnerable people. The issue is salient, glaring and almost thematic now and needs immediate redressal. The question is how? Here, society has to and must take a call. First, since the issue is obvious, society must recognize it on a priority basis. After this, a follow up in the nature of tangible steps needs to be undertaken. Broken down, this means that society devise and create mechanisms that, in the least, takes care of the dignity of our elderly. One way to do this is to pool money and have it monitored and implemented by respectable members of our society and then distribute it , on a case by case basis, in a discreet manner so that dignity is maintained of our elderly. We must remember that when, as small children and as toddlers, that is, when we were vulnerable, our elderly held our hands and took care of us. Now, it is time to reciprocate!