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Senior Citizens

With improved life expectancy and nuclear, mobile families, geriatric care – physical and emotional – has become a major challenge for society. With little public investment in institutions for the care of this section of the people, it is imperative that NGOs take the lead in this field of keeping this large section of the population gainfully engaged, fit and out of hospitals and institutions. A study by the National Commission on Population projects that senior citizens in India will comprise 9.3 per cent by 2016, 10.7 per cent by 2021 and 12.40 per cent by 2026.

Senior citizens from less privileged families (30% of senior citizens are below poverty line) are a doubly disadvantaged group; as such they have been a key beneficiary group for BCPT’s funding activities. Illness, poor financial status, boredom, a feeling of neglect and uselessness all contribute to depression.

Day Care Centres for Senior Citizens were first initiated by the Trust in 2000. Senior women in the community who were not able to work anymore could come and spend half a day and participate in activities such as yoga, nutrition supplementation, diagnostics and medical treatment, occupational therapy, counselling, celebration of festivals, outings etc. The Day Care Centres provide a place for bonding and sharing and the women look forward to the meetings. They have been popular while a few continue to be supported by other donors.

Senior citizens, from low income communities, who have limited mobility and are home-bound, face severe difficulties in health care. Added to the cost of treatment is the cost of travel to medical facilities. Lack of mobility affects regular checkups, special health centre based services such as physiotherapy and counselling. Projects located in low income communities help provide home-based care to senior citizens by organising visits of doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, counsellors at regular intervals and provide free of cost professional services.

Home-bound senior citizens from low income communities face severe difficulties in health care. Added to the cost of treatment is the cost of travel to medical facilities. Lack of mobility affects regular checkups, special health centre based services such as physiotherapy and counselling. Projects located in low income communities help provide home-based care to senior citizens by organising visits of doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, counsellors at regular intervals and provide free of cost professional services.

With a view to promote a better understanding among the youth and the elderly, and of the issues facing each other, the Trust supported proposals from NGOs and Community Based Organisations (CBO). These projects are an effort in the direction of bridging the generation gap and promoting an environment of dialogue and understanding between younger and older generations which could lead to respect for each other.