Often thatha or aaji are ring tones on mobile phones used by the senior citizens instead of voices of their grandchildren calling out to them in the same house. Whether we like it or not this is the new reality for a majority of senior citizens who will be celebrating World Elders' Day on October 1.
Although senior citizens are reinventing themselves to cope with the present scenario, several challenges confront them. Escalating medical costs, unreliable domestic help, lack of public conveniences are only a few of the problems they face.
Yet, senior citizens are making choices like never before, from taking up membership in senior citizen clubs, to embarking on group yatras, even enrolling for classes that widen their horizons. With a rapid growth in the population of elders, their needs too have increased. Often they are unaware of new policies, services and products in the market that can make their life happier and more independent.
Volunteers too are at a loss as to how and where they can assist. To bridge this gap, the Federation of AP Senior Citizens' Organisations (FAPSCO), Help Age India and Federation of Organisers of Elders' Homes in AP (FEDEHAP) are holding the first ever Elders' Mela in AP," says Dr Rao VBJ Chilikani, President, FAPSCO.
Times surely have changed - with living and working having gone global, it's not always possible for children to live with their parents and it's equally difficult to uproot parents to another country.
Despite this Old Age Homes are still looked upon with some disdain in India. As a result, a majority of senior citizens are having to literally fend for themselves be it in everyday chores, errands, financial planning or emergency situations.
Stalls for health check ups, para-medical services, legal counselling, elder travel coupled with some fun and games are on offer too at the Elders' Mela (entry free) from September 30 to October 2, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Zoroastrian Club, SP Road, Secunderabad. For information contact: 9848488894.Dr P Vyasamoorthy, 30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph 040-27846631 / 9490804278.My blog: http://vyasa-kaaranam-ketkadey.blogspot.com/