What is aging? Being elderly meaning this is the time when you begin to develop characteristics of old age. Over the years, the role of elderly has changed. The traditional societies treasured and respected the aged, relying on them for advice and guidance in different aspects of life. Still, in the modern world, some societies respect and admire them but the bigger chunk has relegated the elderly from their roles in participation and inclusion. Caring for the senior citizen and elderly will help create the new definition of old age to recover their space in the society.
From respect to oblivion: evolution of the role of the elderly in society
Living long gives you vast experience in life challenges because each time you face a challenge, you end up learning a lesson. These lessons, in turn, help you gain knowledge and wisdom in handling different life situations. From long ago, married people and even leaders sought guidance from the elderly. They knew the environment well and where to get resources from, not to mention, their countless captivating and educative stories.
Three hundred years ago, old age was limited to the few. Going back a further several years, the numbers of senior citizens aged 60 and above were close to none. This explains the positive words to describe the elderly along with the respect and honour they got and how they were cared for by the community. Their key role in the society was to advise on complex matters. People highly depended on them for their wise decisions.
Since the emergence of technology that increased knowledge levels, the position of the elderly people and their teachings were no longer as important as before. Their stories and lessons gradually became a thing of the past together with the interest and will to care for the senior citizens, practically speaking, the people bringing no contribution to wealth or strength of the society.
This disregard for the old shifted their position from being a valuable asset to the community to being a burden to be taken care of. This biased move overshadowed the older people’s ability not taking into account they had so much to offer. Tons of experience is wealth in itself and can only be gained with time.
Ageism and Exclusion: Shadows of the Third Age
Why are the elderly no longer of importance or value to the society today? The senior citizen has been viewed differently all though history. In the past they were viewed as advisors and decision makers but in the modern society, for decades, their perception seems not to change. What age is legally considered elderly? Since many people retire from the elderly age range of 60 to 70, 65 is the age you are deemed to be elderly.
Technological advancements in medicine and other fields have resulted to a certain increase in life expectancy, mainly in prominent countries. This, in turn, caused the aging population to increase. This significant rise in the elderly raises the need to care and look after them, giving them the attention they deserve.
The question that stands is; is the modern society ready and able to sufficiently support and care for the elderly population? The problem is two-way. The inability of public administrations to provide an efficient and effective response to the senior citizens’ needs, on the other hand, families lack the ability to successfully cater to their elderly family member’s needs
To deal with such adversities, the preferable solution has always been institutionalization in residential areas for their care. The elderly will get proper care but this does not solve the rest of the problems, including, exclusion from social life, inability to make key life decisions, ageism, and existing stereotypes suggesting older people are a burden to the society.
The inclusion of older people in today’s society
A key activity we take at Cuidum incorporates promotion of these new core values for the welfare of the elderly. We provide home-based assistance alternative and offer a great deal of solutions and changes.
A safe and familiar surroundings, which is your home.
Personalised care for your special needs and non-interference with your abilities
Promoting the social life of a senior citizen and ensuring they actively take part in the society
Solutions to reunite family and professional life with elderly care
Extra assistance in critical times, as it was demonstrated in the pandemic period along with accompaniment to the senior citizens living alone.
These mechanisms help us achieve two key objectives. The first is efficient response to the high population of the elderly, while giving them a chance to continue living in their homes however old they become. The second objective we fulfil is constructing a care model allowing the senior citizens to be aware of what goes on around them.