Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why are Senior Citizens conservative and rigid?

Why are Senior Citizens conservative and rigid?


Psychologists say that 'what we are today' is a result of conditioning we have had in our childhood and early adulthood. We would have absorbed several ideas from our parents, teachers, neighbors and friends without questioning as we were young. We were also told to accept what elders say without opposition or questioning. But the over a period of several decades we gain our own experience by being and observing the world. We travel and see different cultures, people, places, practices, customs etc. Slowly it dawns on most of us that the ideas that we cherish and hold as true or absolute are not really so. Different parts of the world treat things differently. There is nothing 'correct' or 'right' just because you hold some view. We first become more tolerant of others' views and accept varying views though with reluctance but with ease as we age. This is the general scenario.


However I find many senior citizens stubbornly remaining totally conservative and rigid in their views and beliefs. For some, even smoking and drinking are taboos. Others can not accept pre-marital sex or live-in arrangements with ease. Many are obsessed with age old customs and rituals – any slight deviation – even at the thinking level - brings them jitters. Discussing Sex? Total No, No! Religion is one of most binding and blinding factors in many seniors. They easily get offended, hurt, humiliated, feel let down and cheated if some noted artist paints their gods and goddesses in nude.  There are some who can not tolerate young girls wearing shirts with attractive statements. I know a person who avoided me as a bug the moment he learnt that I do not fast on Ekadasi. I know persons who avoided meeting me after my wife's death, because the days were not the 'right' ones according to Shastras. Why are they so rigid in their thoughts and expectations of others, I just can not understand.


Many elders have developed hatred for anything that is foreign, anything from multinationals, anything from a religion other than their own, anyone not belonging to his caste. Why don't we develop a care free attitude? What is the problem in letting others live the way like? Why are we so addicted and bound by religion? Why should ANY religion be allowed to rule you? What is wrong if others' views do not tally with yours? Why should it? Why do we sit in judgment over others based on our narrow experience? Why do we rush to comment without getting to basics of an issue? Should our prejudices rule us all the time? Won't we ever learn some thing new?


After all, if a person passes through many decades, enough wisdom should prevail upon him to become wise, tolerant, understanding, broad minded and catholic?  Becoming broad minded requires courage. Most persons are driven by herd mentality and it is safe to part of a group. Seniors, in my opinion, should wake up as they have nothing to lose. They have all the time to experiment new ways of thinking. You won't become mad, I assure you. Just try, if you are the one I am talking about.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

PESU Listening services

PESU – Personalized Ear-Lending Services Unlimited - FAQ


What is Listening Service?


A trained senior citizen volunteer listens to you over the phone at a scheduled time.  Listening is neutral, confidential, non-judgmental, unbiased, non-advising, and supportive. It involves simple, plain listening with empathy in a language you are comfortable. You do not need to move out of your house. Our volunteers are just a phone call away. You are not required to learn and apply anything new. No solutions are offered. Plain simple ear-lending service is offered.


Why will anyone ask for this service?


  • You may be lonely and just want to talk to someone.
  • You have a problem and would like to pour it out and unburden yourself.
  • You just want to share your experience, ideas and information with someone.
  • You are rehearsing to say something important to someone and would like a listener to start with.
  • You have something to confess and prefer non-religious confession platform / person who would not put you under any obligation.
  • You want to share some grief or a sudden disappointment in your life.


Who are these listeners?


The Society for Serving Seniors has enlisted the co-operation of many senior citizens who have accepted to offer this service. They decide the time for taking calls, put their phone numbers & email address in public domain, mention the languages they are comfortable with etc. Many of them know the exact needs for listeners themselves. They know what it is to be lonely and craving to be talked to or listened to. Most of them have retired from senior positions in industry, government, military, and consultancies and as independent professionals. They are decent, educated, and polite. Listeners in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, English, Hindi, Malayalam and Konkani are now available.


How much does this service cost?


Absolutely free. You pay nothing except for phone calls you make.  As volunteers are offering free service, please follow their timings and other restrictions if any.


How does one utilize this service?


By contacting us at the address given below, you will receive details of one or more active volunteers who are free and ready. Then you may contact the volunteers directly and fix up suitable timings for regular interactions.


Dr P Vyasamoorthy,

President: Society for Serving Seniors
30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph 040-27846631 / 9490804278

Does the World Revolve Around you?

Does the World revolve around you?


Or are you the person you think you are? Have you ever thought about this seriously?


Each living person creates a world of his own in his mind. He is the center of everything and whole world revolves around him. Nothing that does not involve him or affect him matters.

Such a world as you perceive exists only in you. There are as many million different worlds as many people are there on this earth. Each is different. That is why it is said that each person is unique. And you are in the center of everything. If you are not apart of it, rest of the world does not matter, does not exist as far as you are concerned. This is grossly incorrect view of reality. But that is how we, human beings, are made up of.


I am not what I think I am
I am not what you think I am
I am what I think you think I am


Even when we keep ourselves as center and think a world of ourselves, we cheat ourselves. We want to project ourselves as good, kind, benevolent, reasonable, philanthropic, cheerful, nice, happy, dependable, reliable, altruistic, honest, easy going, helpful and wonderful people -- in fact everything positive about ourselves. . We are always trying to impress others by acting as they expect us to be but we are not what we project ourselves to be.  The Quote above adds clarity to what I say, I hope!!


Once we understand the nature of EGO, it is easy to disassociate ourselves from our Ego. Ego is that which helps you identify yourself everything that is not you. You are not the body. You are not the name. You are not the persons others see you to be. You are not the possessor of things that you own – including property, wife, children and intangibles like fame and recognition. In a sense, in reality "yourself minus Ego" is the real you.


Therefore the world does not revolve around you. It is a misconception. It is a trick of your faulty mind. You revolve around everything. That is why you are seeing only bits and pieces of anything that you see. You revolve around so fast that there is no time to observe anything fruitfully. Your vision is limited to a few degrees in front of you – not 360 degrees in one plane of vision – leave alone multiple planes in which you really exist.  Stay still in absolute silence, void and nothingness and you can reach your true self.


Where we begin, therefore, you might ask. I would rather say, NOW. NOW has an answer to all basic questions: why, how, when, where and what. Find that out for yourself, as no one can do that for you.





Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why do Senior Citizens Crave to be heard?

WHY Do Senior Citizens crave to be heard?


Three old men were taking a walk one fine day in July.
One remarked to the other, "Windy, isn't it?"
"No," the second man replied, "It's Thursday."
And the third man chimed in, "So am I. Let's have a coke."


Despite such severe hearing problems, senior citizens crave to be heard. They just want to talk to someone. I envy people who prefer to be alone and enjoy their own company. Such wise guys need no others to make them happy. This is an excellent trait to be cultivated seriously. It will be most useful to senior citizens. Older persons are most likely to be left alone with no one even to talk to. Many elders crave to be heard.  This is a pathetic situation. Can we do something about this condition?


We can tackle this issue once we know the reasons for the craving senior citizens have for having someone to listen to them.  As one ages, friends leave one by one. Siblings and other relatives also die sooner or later. Children and others at home have no time or interest in elders. They are busy in their own world. There is a severe mismatch in the interests of the young and old groups. Retired persons  have no captive listeners they used to enjoy when they were employed or otherwise in power.  They are afraid of their own company and have not learnt the art of being alone and enjoy it. A sense of emptiness and despair starts gnawing the soul. They have no one to turn to either for talking, sharing ideas and worries.  As old people often repeat the same old stories, listeners tend to escape being caught. Oldies can not much talk of future as that is bleak and sealed. Youngsters, on the other hand, are more interested in discussing current happenings and guessing and gossiping about people and immediate future.


This craving may either be catered to or simply shunned.  Nowadays many senior citizens organizations and counseling centers are offering free listening services to the elderly.  PSESU service of Society for Serving Seniors, Secunderabad is an example. PESU is an acronym for "Personalized Ear-lending Services Unlimited".  Volunteers from PESU listen to lonely senior citizens over telephone during pre-arranged timings.  Another organization, Support4grief, located in many cities, operates a Help line that provides free, anonymous, unconditional, non judgmental and a confidential listening ear to the needy. Here the beneficiary need not be senior citizens, though many seniors find it useful.


Joining clubs or associations or going to Day Care Centers may alleviate the problem; however, all may not be able use these services because of distance, time and costs involved.


Learning to come to terms with reality – that loneliness and having no companions is something to be faced bravely and it strikes many in old age – is the best way to handle it. What can not be cured has to endured, as the saying goes.  Many seniors do manage being alone boldly and beautifully. Why not you?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Online Survey on Revision of NPOP

Online Survey on Revision of NPOP

I am forwarding a message from Silver Innings on a simple online survey to get the opinions of senior citizens and others on NPOP. Please take a couple of minutes to answer this questionnaire. It has only 2 questions -- 1) choose as many as you agree among several statements 2) prioritize senior citizens'  needs as per your perception.

The URL:

If the URL does not open please do a cut & paste.

After the Submit Button you may be asked to share the survey info on Twitter  or Facebook. If you want to and if you can, please do. Otherwise click on the image to get away.That page is a little confusing. Hence this info.

I would also like to point out that this NPOP revision activity is gaining momentum. APSCCON also has set up a committee for NPOP revision (and I happen to be its chairman); we have already sent our interim recommendations to MOSJE and others.
For the Online survey, Silver Innings gave the questions and I re-grouped and formatted the questions into a survey. Let us see if we can get some concrete picture of our requirements.

Kindly request your friends also to answer the survey.

Dr P Vyasamoorthy,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sailesh Mishra <>
Date: Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 7:40 AM
Subject: Online Survey for Review of NPOP (Policy for Older Person)

Dear Friends,

On 8th Dec 2009 the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment (MOSJE), Shri Mukul Wasnik informed about Review of NPOP at National Dementia Strategy, New Delhi.


NPOP was formulated in 1999, but till date it has not been implemented by Central Govt / Pan India, due to various reasons including lack of political will. Various NGO's and activist have been advocating its implementation and review.


During this 10 years the world has changed there has been significant demography change in India's population due globalization and improved medical facility and lifestyle. The fall of joint family system and rise in nuclear family system has brought new dimension to the care and welfare of Elderly. The population of aged people above 60 yrs as on 2009 is estimated at 90 million, i.e. around 8% of total population. According to UN the population of 60+ in 2050 will be around 20%.Life expectancy has increased 60% in last 60 years from 42yrs in 1950 to 69yrs in 2009.There is sharp increase in population of Young Old 60yrs to 69 yrs and Old old 80+. Due to this demand and needs of various age groups have changed. Now it is time for civil society and government to rethink their strategy to address the needs of Senior Citizens.


Silver Inning Foundation in association with Society for Serving Seniors has undertaken a National Online Survey to assess the requirement and need of Senior Citizens.


We request you to click on below link and participate in the National Online Survey for Review of NPOP: 


Last  Date to participate is 15th April 2010.


The final results with the recommendation will be submitted to MOSJE for welfare of Senior Citizens.


Also share the above URL and promote this survey among your friends and family through Email, groups in which you are a member, via Twitter, Facebook, blog etc



Your support will help the cause of our Elderly.





Dr P Vyasamoorthy

Society for Serving Seniors


Sailesh Mishra

Silver Inning Foundation


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why do Senior Citizens have Learning Phobia?

Why Do Senior Citizens have Learning Phobia?


I know of many senior citizens who are wary of taking up any new learning activity – be it learning to handle the PC and Internet or special skills like appreciation of arts or music.  Sometimes it is necessary to learn new skills: say when you move to another city where the local language is different; or your son has moved to a foreign country and email is an easy way to keep connected; your grandkids expect you to help them with school homework; or you are getting to know a friend in depth and her interests are Greek and Latin to you. But you shy away from taking steps to educate yourself. Such persons suffer from 'sophophobia', as this fear of learning is called.  Why older persons are afraid of learning, when so many opportunities come up, is puzzling to me.


There could be several reasons for this psychological phenomenon. Some seniors may feel threatened by a kind of ghost competition, by which they might be feel compelled to 'perform'. In their school days they could have been slow learners and never really liked studies but were rather interested in physical skills, sports etc. Self Learning is almost an art and requires discipline. One may not be willing to put in the efforts needed for the learning activity. Time constraints, costs involved, commuting etc are other peripheral issues prompting one to put off learning. Some might genuinely feel: "What is the use?" and are not convinced.


Learning something new keeps your brain cells active. Loneliness can be avoided. Self confidence improves. Your circle of friends gets augmented. Realizing the advantages of adult education many lifelong education programs, University Third Age activities and distance education courses are coming up. For those who are net savvy, Internet or the Web is a Guru of sorts – all that one needs is some initial hand holding.


In the case of youngsters, fear of learning, exams, tests etc are understandable. Many children may feel a sense of nausea, dry mouth and sweat on hands the moment they sit for studies, especially before exams. But in old people this fear or utter dislike may stem from accumulation of intense negative experiences of the past. People who are generally high strung, tense or those suffering from adrenal insufficiency are known to 'suffer' from sophophobia.  


Unlike school children who must study, there is really no compulsion of any sort for old people. Any activity is self imposed. Heavens won't come down if a senior does not like to be learning any more. However, benefits of learning something new all the time are far to many. If you want to try, there is none to stop you except yourself!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dot com is Twenty Five Years Old.

Dot Com is Twenty Five Years Old

The very first site registered with a dot com Internet address was twenty five years ago – to be precise it was on 15th March 1985 allotted to That company is now defunct but the development of dot com since that date is unbelievable. As against six domain names registered in 1985 (entire year) we now have about 668000 .com sites registered every month! In 1997, one million .com domains were registered and with several millions coming up in 2000, the bubble busted. Though there are twenty Top Level Domain Names to be chosen .com is still in great demand as it has become synonymous with web.

The web didn't really start until Christmas day 1990 –There were about a dozen web sites world wide. Mosaic the first graphic browser didn't get released until February of 93. Prior to the web, Internet was still there. Popular Services prior to the WWW were: Electronic Mail, Usenet News groups, ftp, telnet and Gopher. In India, Scientific Research institutions under CSIR had email facility through ERNET in 1986. Some universities were fortunate to be connected through ERNET. Usenet was then very popular.

In 1993 I remember accessing text based web servers through a dedicated line from Hyderabad to New Jersey . I was then in Satyam Computers, the first private company in India to acquire a 64kbps dedicated link for connecting to US Clients. In fact, Satyam was refused such a high speed link by VSNL who said: "When we are having one 64 Kbps for the entire country, what will you – a single company that too in private sector – do with that high capacity bandwidth all by yourself?" It took almost a year to convince the bureaucracy. The very next year, twelve 64 KBPs lines were applied for by others and they got it.

I used a command line based web browser (text only) that was actually called www! BSNL – the only ISP then – charged higher fees for accessing graphical web servers. We could read about graphical web sites only in foreign magazines. Satyam was the first company to offer training programs in learning Internet!

Thinking of the progress this web has made, it is mind boggling. There is no parallel to the impact it has created. We are all fortunate to be living at this point of time where all types of technologies are getting converged. Let us hope future will be brighter.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Why Do Senior Citizens Retire mentally too?

Why do senior citizens retire mentally as well?


Many senior citizens not only retire physically – stop away from active employment because the employer wants him to leave at certain specified age – but also mentally. They tell themselves and others: "From now on I can lead a retired life". By this they mean that they can limit their activities eating ,sleeping, watching TV and a certain inevitable activities like doing Puja, buying things etc. They do not like to take up another job even to keep themselves busy. They may not opt to learn anything new – another language, skill or practice – nor seek new friends or a different way of active life. They become passive and think: "my life is over; I am only waiting for His call". I do not understand why they become docile, lazy and prefer to lead a lethargic and passive life. This puzzles me.


Trying to seek reasons for this type of self-negation, a few ideas flash.  His father would have done the same. In earlier days it was thought perfectly OK to physically and mentally retire. Let youngsters take the reins of the household. Retirees were content with giving advice and perhaps interfering in everybody's life. It may also be that during his active life the work pressure and stress was really great (insurmountable?) and he was waiting to retire and 'enjoy' retirement by doing nothing in particular. In a few cases we find the children telling the father facing retirement: "Daddy, you have struggled enough for us. Now you take rest and retire. Take life easy".  Whatever might be the reason I feel that a passive life is not worth it. This is strong conviction.


If one should realize one's full potential, then mental retirement is detrimental to it. One should be enthusiastic about life and experience new activities and joys. It may be learning a new game, a new skill (example: how to use the PC), making new friends, joining clubs and associations etc. The list is endless and only imagination is needed to pick something useful. The brain will be actively used and one can ward off diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's.  By being helpful to society ones own self confidence increases and a sense of fulfillment arises. People tend to healthier, happier and better in all respects.


I believe in the statement:  "Once you lose enthusiasm for life, you are dead". Why lead a life like a vegetable when there are plenty of opportunities, avenues, help, resources and guidance is available just for the asking? If you are one who is planning to retire mentally too, just know: You are destined to do better than that.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why are Senior Citizens full of Ego?


Why are Senior citizens so full of Ego?

I requested a senior citizen friend of mine to collect my Diagnostic Test Results from an SCA where he was planning to go. He said: "I do not do such things like collecting reports for others". His contention is that he retired as a big shot and it is infra dig to do such menial things.  Another person mentions a long list of his degrees and affiliations as a part of his routine signature. These are simple examples of a dancing ego.


Everyone has ego. No exceptions, even so called God men have it.  Scriptures, Preachers, teachers and Swamins tell us that we should give up our ego. This does not happen and is the most difficult to achieve. However I think this question of giving up ego becomes very important as you age and stand nearer to your grave. By then one should have realized the futility of name, fame, wealth and similar attachments – all that is "mine, me, myself and I". This does not seem to be happening as a natural course of gaining experience and wisdom. Why so? Let us examine this issue.


The Ego with we are tied up permanently is the result of extreme, repeated, unavoidable conditioning that we received right from our childhood. Actually we are not responsible for it. Ego gets nurtured over years by societal pressures and it expectations. Something that we have internalized for years becomes a part of us and inseparable. Hence the difficulty in dissociating oneself from Ego. Dividends for retaining and pampering the Ego are high. Whereas benefits to a ego-less person are minimal. A sense of ego is necessary to push yourself up into action towards fulfilling your desires. No one would bother a person who appears ego-less.


Senior Citizens, especially in India think they have a right to demand respect from youngsters merely because they are age. During their employment period they were bosses to a few or many persons and enjoyed power over others. They can not give up this habit. Giving up ego is a question of learning new behavior. Many senior citizens may have given up learning after their school days. Some are lucky to be pampered around even after retirement. This gives them a false sense of pride which they wish to retain.


The solution lies in total realization that, at least in later part of life where one does not depend upon the society for day to day living, Conquering ego yields really rich dividends like peace of mind, deeper understanding of oneself, a sense of self fulfillment, nearness to God or self realization etc. A feeling of having lived a life in full – satiation effect – should make it easier to give up ego. Let us try – it is worth it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Why Do Senior Citizens Feel Lonely?

First of all let us understand what loneliness is. Loneliness is a
feeling of inner emptiness and a feeling of loss, loss of someone and,
in a way, loss of ourselves. Loneliness is a sate of mind about
neediness – wanting people to want you and desiring to have persons
whom you can show love understanding and consideration. It is the need
to have some persons to share your thoughts, aspirations and worries
or anxieties. Loneliness is definitely something more than having
mere acquaintances or friends. It is the gap between expectations and
what you are getting in terms of your relationship with people. You
may feel lonely despite being in a busy entertainment program, while
partying or on a vacation trip when you actually supposed to be
enjoying the fun.

What causes loneliness, especially in older people? After retirement,
even family members do not have time for the retiree. You feel let
down and short changed. Relatives become sort of strangers. Grand
children may avoid you saying that you are boring. Spouses may get
separated as a result of, being away taking care of grandchildren in
far off places, divorcing, dying etc. Another reason for feeling
lonely is comparison with others – looking at friends who are
relatively better off and happy and feeling miserable.

How can senior citizens handle this situation? Here are some tips:

1. Organize your life in a structured manner. This leads to time bound
action, leaving not much time to brood over loneliness.
2. If you are inclined, keep a pet – a cat or a dog. They give love
that no human being can give. Their understanding of you is far
superior. Pets are most useful to senior citizens.
3. Develop self esteem and increase your self worth. Start liking
yourself. Do not think of negatives. Pamper yourself. Like the Byline
of L'Oreille Advertisement says: "Because you're worth it"
4. Develop a belief that it is OK to be alone. Go for long walks
alone in a forest or a beach.
Lie down all alone in the night in the terrace, gazing into the
silent sky studded with stars.
5. Join various groups – Senior Citizens Associations, Clubs,
Discussion groups on the Internet, Day Care Centers etc. Discover
6. Volunteer your services in geriatric wards of hospitals, NGOs
working for elders etc
7. Start learning something new. Drawing, painting, writing, yoga,
meditation, languages, and computers – the list is endless. Join any
U3A club in your area.
8. Do you have a purpose in life? If you have discovered it already
follow it up with fresh passion. Become enthusiastic by faking
enthusiasm in the beginning.
9. Are you religious? Pray, rather, talk to God on a regular basis and
pour out your problems.
10. Most importantly try to live in the present. Never think of past
or future. Trust Eckhart Tolle when he says: There is only present,
NOW. Living in the present moment solves all problems, including

Why do Senior Citizens Become Religious after Retirement?

My father, who died at the age of 84, never stepped into the Puja room
during his school days. He was a teacher in a reputed school. After
retirement, he took to Pujas and rituals and became religious. I have
seen many senior citizens visiting temples regularly, performing Pujas
in the mornings. They also start going to discourses on Gita, Puranas,
Ithihasas and the like. They actively take part in Bajans, Satsanghs,
Homa etc. Some will accept some God Man as their Guru and follow his
preaching and guidance faithfully. Greater interest in astrology or
future prediction is not uncommon. But all these activities have come
about in large number of senior citizens after retirement. If we
question why this is so, we get some good insights.

Reasons: Some persons feel a sense of guilt of having wasted their
entire life in pursuit of material needs, forgetting God altogether.
To compensate and make amends, they turn to religiosity. Most also
feel free to pursue what they like and they genuinely did not have
time for it earlier. They are 'floating' in time in many senses. [Time
is considered as a river and the man is floating along without any
effort; Retirees become light of mind as many burdens are absent and
hence they float; Floating in money connotes having aplenty – similar
is the case of older persons – they have lot of time for
everything].Engaging in Pujas & rituals is one way of spending time
usefully and satisfyingly.

Many senior citizens have a nagging fear of the future: money, health,
responsibilities like marrying off a daughter, death etc. They
consider praying to God may help. Peer pressure coming from
co-retirees who advise and urge that turning to God is the best
solution. Moreover the society appreciates this change and the senior
is happy about this.

Pros and Cons: Turning to Religion has many dividends. They get to
know scriptures and texts better. They are in a better position to
converse, teach youngsters or get company of friends in this sector.
As company of friends ensues, loneliness, a curse of old age, may be
avoided. Any activity that engages the mind and body regularly is Ok
including Puja performance. Some kind of pseudo peace descends upon
the individual "I am doing the right thing" kind of satisfaction. They
are proud about it. Self worth increases. Good bonding among followers
of the same group (Bajan, Guru) happens and really good social service
activities like volunteering for common causes could happen.

However, getting involved in such activities more than that is
warranted might have its own unpleasant consequences. Highly religious
persons become bigoted, lose a sense of balance and become sensitive
to others hurting them easily. They might also develop some
I-am-holier-than-Thou attitude and this is unhealthy. Trusting in God
men fully and losing oneself is fraught with the danger of getting
shattered when a God man is exposed as a fraud.

Spirituality, as against religiosity, is better. If a person can move
towards this greater thirst for self realization, after having been
rigorously religious for a few years, that would be laudable.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Security and Safety of Senior Citizens - Mumbai Police shows the way

Hamari Suraksha claimed to be "The first ever security portal for
every Indian" has partnered with the government agencies, local
police, citizens and business houses to ensure Mumbai is safe and
peaceful for Senior citizens. Hamari Suraksha has launched a website
to register senior citizens, domestic help workers such as servant,
driver, cook, health care providers including doctors and nearest
• Senior Citizen Registration
Registration of Senior Citizens and their domestic help worker,
Servant, driver, cook, cleaner, milk man and others
• Volunteer Registration, the site will register volunteers who will
provide services to the senior citizens:
Volunteer Individuals and Volunteer Doctors and other healthcare providers
• Senior Citizen's Tenant Registration, when you rent your house or
apartment, must register your tenant
• No more form filling, no more going to the police station. You can
register right from your home if you have access to computer hooked up
to the internet or go to nearest internet center, your office or from
your friends place. You can also call police help line by dialing 1090
to register over the phone.
• Senior citizen can upload their picture; provide necessary emergency
contact information of your family members, your doctor, nearest
hospital and much more.
Recently nearly 170 Mumbai Police officials were specially trained to
handle senior citizens problems. They were told:
• How to use the web site
• Training on registration of Senior Citizens
• How to handle calls with Senior Citizens and providing them
necessary assistance in using the web-site
• How to resolve difficult queries
• How to get support from "HamariSuraksha team" and Elder-Line
In Hyderabad, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has
started a Senior Citizens Helpline (Phone: 1253). Aasara as it is
called has been offering many of the above services for nearly three
years. Highly appreciated for the prompt and quality service, Aasara
has become synonymous with Senior Citizens Welfare. Let us hope Hamari
Suraksha also becomes useful and indispensable in times to come.

Boycott TV Channels inimical to the society's welfare

Here is a message that I got from Sri K Ramakrishnan (aka Raman) in full.
If you agree please do something towards chastising the irresponsible Channel.
======= Now the Post ========================================

Dear Friends,

By now the Nityananda case is known to everyone including, perhaps,
the baby-in-the-womb. We have learnt the lesson (the same lesson) once
again about the blind-following of self-styled god men with high
rhetoric talents. This particular episode needs more scrutiny from a
different perspective. It is not the exploitation of gullible persons
(including the educated public) in the name of religion by Nityananda
and his ilks to their advantage and to quench their sexual and other
needs, it is not the sting operation that brought to light the
nauseating act in the Ashramam, it is not the ire of the public on
Nityananda for the outrage on their faith on him and the vandalism
that followed, it is not the usual statements after such revelations
from politicians led by a chief minister condemning and threatening
such godmen of severe consequences, it is not whether the authorities
concerned will go through proper investigation and bring the criminals
to book and suitably punish them, that merits our concern.

Which one has done more damage to the society -- Nityananda with his
nefarious activity or the media that brought the gutter in to the main
hall of our homes? This is a subject of debate, though. What is more
important at this moment is the manner in which and the zest with
which this matter was taken to the public merits condemnation.
Granting that such sting operations are legal and are meant only to
cleanse the society of such abominable characters, the good old dictum
that "End cannot justify the means"  is totally defied en route the
goal. Were there not other means to launch a case against such
criminals using those video clippings? Are the people the only resort
to bring every such act for justice? If so, why do we unnecessarily
have the police and justice departments in our scheme of things? Can
anyone, in such a case, take any problem to the streets?

The amount of damage that this revelation has done to the morale of
the society, than any service that it had claimed to have been done,
is enormous and irreversible. Repeatedly telecasting the scene at
nausea right in to the drawing/dining room of households where
invariably children stay to complete their school-work is highly
condemnable. Who had given these media moguls the right to do what
they want. No Sir, they do not have to get it from anyone; they can
usurp it! That is the type of misplaced notion that they have created
among the public. On the one side we have the 'checks and balances'
among the three wings of parliamentary democracy (the president, the
parliament and the judiciary) and on the other side we have absolute
freedom to the so-called fourth-estate, the media. Whereas our
Constitution has envisaged 'checks and balances' for the rest it is
perhaps silent about the media or perhaps wants the people to issue
the mandate.

There is one way by which the people can show their power and curtail
the high-handedness of the media. This should have been done many
decades back when we graduated from the print media to the
Audio-visual media which is more powerful and can reach even the
illiterate and uneducated who cannot distinguish between the chaff and
the grain. We had travelled long miles from the big screen to the
small screen that dominates the central hall of all our homes. It is
not without reason that the chief minister of Tamil Nadu introduced
the free Colour TV issuance programme to the public! He knew fully
well the power of this screen.

To put an end to this menace and to make sure that the present
incident is one of its kind and does not form a precedence to more
such shows, we have to take immediate action within our means (how
much so ever slender that one may try to argue and try to prove that
we are helpless). One immediate thought that crosses my mind is to
boycott the channel and all its tributaries/subsidiaries under the
same management that brought this scene in to our homes for a period
of one year or till such time the channel ranking falls steeply,
whichever is more. As I type these statements I have resolved in my
mind NOT to view this channel as said above though I have a few
unfinished serials that I have been viewing lately.

I appeal to all my friends, who contribute to and share my views, to
ponder over the issue and the remedial measure as a baby's step and
resolve to boycott the channel as suggested. Please pass on this mail
to as many friends as possible to spread this message. If need be,
mark a copy also to the channel concerned. This is one way we can show
our power as a citizen of the land of Gandhi for whom "End cannot
justify the means but means are equally important"

Thank you all and with best wishes,


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Why do senior citizens find it difficult to adjust after retirement?

Many studies have shown that nearly one third of all retirees find it difficult to adjust with their family members after retirement. The reasons are easy to see.


Retirement involves change in status, change in income levels and change in standard of life. Any known change needs to be planned for proper handling. Most retirees do not plan for retirement. They do not foresee changes. This is the single most reason for many post retirement blues.  When changes (appear to) strike them suddenly they are perplexed and find it difficult to move on with ease.


In the family circles, he is no more the main breadwinner and his importance diminishes. He is relatively free all the time and is therefore treated lightly. He is no more important and his ability of wielding power over others is less or nil. He feels insecure, unwanted and worthless.

A sense of emptiness, worry and boredom engage the minds of seniors. His expectations from others increase instead of decreasing.


Society also falls a prey to ageism related victimization of retirees. A senior citizen is mentally at a loss, frustrated and looks upon others with suspicion. They tend to apply the same yardstick in their dealings with others as if they are still employed. Unexpected results irritate and annoy them.


Some senior citizens are also adamant and full of ego. They get hurt easily. They won't let go. This attitude also adds to maladjustments with family members. As a consequence of these factors, difficulties arise in maintaining harmonious relationships.


Having seen the reasons what should various stakeholders we do to overcome or mitigate the problems?


All pre-retirement training programs must include behavioral aspects of dealing with people effectively. Seniors must learn not to interfere with others. They may give advice only when called for. Members of the society must be sensitized to look at seniors in a friendly way.


Recently I saw an advertisement issued by family members on the occasion of a person retiring. They were assuring the retiree that a great time after retirement is awaiting him. What a splendid way to celebrate retirement? Such advertisements will slowly change others as well. Newspapers may give concession for such advertisements connected with retirement. Senior Citizens associations may sponsor such advertisements, while trying to enroll fresh retirees into their SCAs.


By conscious practice any retiree can accept the changes, develop contentment through self introspection and reflection. That will help him adjust easily.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Why do Senior Citizens repeat same old stories?

Many people tend to say the same story or narrate an incident in their
lives again and again.

Children do it regularly to as a means of show off, because they are
often encouraged. Lecturers repeat the same story year after year to
differing batches of students. I am only referring to older persons
who repeat the same story over and over, much to the annoyance of
listeners. Why do they do so? Here are my findings:

Some people repeat ad nauseam as they run out of stories to tell.
Some others do so, not as a matter of sharing information, but as a
method of re-living some past experience and wish to share it with
you. They may not be sure of saying it clearly and may be practicing
to make the story effective and perfect. It's a social ritual, where
by orally sharing a story they get to recall it also and experience
the feelings and emotions again.

Many senior citizens, as they age, develop short term memory
impairment. They forget they have already told you some story. If the
'problem' persists to the extent of nagging you beyond limits of your
patience, then one should seek medical help and rule out dementia.

Some geezers may be fortunate to have captive audience. Grand children
who can not escape listening, some colleague in office before
retirement to whom this guy was his boss etc – get it? It may be a
case of passive aggression or exercising some power over the poor
listener. Many listeners are culturally molded to be polite and listen
to elders, even if it is boring or a waste of time. Such situations
encourage people to repeat the same incidents.

CB Bursack, a consultant in geriatrics and gerontology, says: "As
people age, it's natural to tell stories and even repeat them fairly
often, as they are trying to make sense of their lives and part of the
legacy of a long life is that we view the value of things in our past
differently than we did at the time the situation occurred. Also, some
older people don't have much to do, therefore they feel they don't
have anything to talk about and keep repeating what was once

Some older persons may have unspecified nagging fears – say about
death. Talking incessantly by repeating the same thing again and again
may be one way of getting rid of that fear. Speaking to others
relieves some anxiety, no matter what you talk.

How can we manage such a situation, as a listener? The best way is
simply to listen without interruption or unwanted interjections that
may lead to further digressions. Or politely tell him that you have
to be going; or look at your watch and make signs of leaving; or
change the topic subtly to some thing you would love to listen – say
latest cricket score. I also heard a friend saying: "The Story teller
won't be living very long. Have patience!!"

How can we manage this habit if we are such story tellers ourselves?
Read a lot and come up with different stories. Say the same story,
embellishing it each time differently. Let your imagination go wild
and say stories that one can not verify at all. Tape your stories and
listen to them. When someone says " you have said it earlier", believe
he is right and change the topic. Or finish it quickly (perhaps meekly
too). It will be a Win-Win situation if you can become a real good
story teller, worth listening to.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Why do many old people fight wherever they go?

Why do many old people fight wherever they go?

You might have seen some angry old men fighting, shouting and raising
their voices and gesticulating in post offices, banks, reservation
counters or with Auto drivers, vegetable vendors or shop keepers. Why
do they do this? Let us explore a few reasons for this behavior.

Exhibiting anger and putting up a fight is justifiable in rare cases.
When gross injustice it done, if you are ill treated, when you are
found fault with for no reasons and the like. I am only referring to
those who habitually fight for any small reason – as if the whole
world is against them.

Many older persons expect to be respected merely because of their age.
Their past has taught them to demand respect. They feel they will be
tolerated and not answered back, because of the culture of youngsters
showing respect for the old. One thing we need to realize is that
respect can not be demanded. It must be commanded by actions and
letting others know what we are through our actions.

Many have super egos and think they are right always. An extreme sense
of self righteousness causes them to assert their rights forcefully.
They stick to rules and are not prepared to tolerate errors due to
human nature. They do not realize that rules are framed only to be
read and not acted upon! "They are framed to frame someone you don't
like", my headmaster used to say.

Most senior citizens also feel week, lonely or helpless. This may be
due to physical conditions like partial deafness, poor sight, lack of
briskness etc. This makes them feel they will be victimized or
exploited. Have n't you seen young boys teasing oldies in a park? As
a mechanism of avoiding such victimization – mostly arising out of
paranoiac feelings – they tend to fight and justify themselves. The
one who strikes first is mightier, they reason.

The only way to avoid such fighting scenes is to realize that getting
angry takes us nowhere. Except feeling bitter and bitter about the
world, nothing is gained. We can not teach anybody any lesson. Let us
mend ourselves if we have to – there is no other way.

Google now offers location based search

Google now offers location based search