Amidst growing concern over elder care with widespread nuclear family system and changing lifestyle, the city hosted a timely seminar `Trends and Challenges in Elder Care’. Focus was on Inclusive Living – Persons with Disabilities.
The Annual Disability Status Report for 2017 by Disabled World says, currently around 10 % of the global population, roughly 650 million people, live with disability. According to an estimate of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) 80% of persons with disabilities (PwD) live in developing countries.
Integrated Eldercare Solutions (Care Finder), an elder support service provider, conducted the programme in association with Harmony-Celebrate Age – India’s premier magazine for senior citizens.
Integrating care to living solutions, Building awareness on mental health and The Fallout of Loneliness were the key topics discussed. A short film emphasizing on the need for elder care and emotional support was screened.
Distinguished speakers, highly acclaimed in the areas of senior care, mental health and active ageing, addressed the gathering. Dr. K. Gangadharan – Founder, Heritage Foundation; Colonel (Veteran) Achal Sridharan, VSM – Managing Director, Covai Care; Dr. Sridhar Vaitheswaran – Consultant Psychatrist, SCARF;Ms. Arati Rajan Menon – Executive Editor, Harmony-Celebrate Age; Ms. Sabita Radhakrishna – Founder, Udhavi; Ms. Pavithra Reddy – HDFC Standard Life, New Zeal project and Mr. Ram U Muthangi – Founder, Apna Care, were among the key speakers.
“Today where Joint family system is increasingly disintegrating into nuclear families, the area of elder care – especially those with dependent children with disabilities – cries for utmost attention. There needs to be a mechanism where senior citizens along with their dependants are taken care. Retirement community homes integrating the features that support inclusive living such as Assisted care centre for seniors as well as dependents with disabilities, Care givers, Nurses and visiting Doctors, are slowly emerging. Co-operation of elders/parents will make this inclusive living model a success overcoming the challenges inherent like addressing the different types of disabilities and their unique needs and possibilities of child abuse, etc” said Colonel (Veteran) Achal Sridharan
Over 100 individuals representing NGOs, Organizations for persons with disabilities, Health Care Organizations, Senior Citizens – Forums & Associations, Builders, Architects and Academia (Social Science) and HR, attended the programme.
Also, the event witnessed release of a book titled `Master Document for Persons with Disabilities (Integrated Community Framework for Senior Citizens with Dependent PwD) by Mr. T.T. Srinivasaraghavan, MD of Sundaram Finance.
“According to a 2016 report titled `elderly in India’ published by Ministry of Statistics and programme implementation, Government of India, Social Statistics Division, India has 103.9 million people above the age of 60, roughly 8.6 percent of total population. 73.3 million people live in rural areas while 30.6 million live in urban areas. In Tamil Nadu, 10.4 % of total population of the state is above 60 years of age. In Pondicherry 9.7 % of total population of the Union is above 60 years of age,” said Mr. P.S. Srikumar, Director, Care Finder
“With this backdrop, most living solutions available today address only the needs of independent living and active ageing. A very important segment in senior living is Care for parents / guardians of persons with disabilities. With advancing age and dependents with disabilities, the need-of-the-hour is to create an enabling and empowering environment that would provide lifelong care and inclusive residential support. To drive home the message of giving due importance to such an area we have conducted the programme” added Mr. P.S. Srikumar.
“An equally significant concern is non-availability of other forms of Care for elders such as assisted living, memory care and palliative care. Though a few of these needs are met by hospitals many are just overlooked. To help the stakeholders have a better understanding and approach in senior care, we have organised this unique seminar” said Ms. Arati Rajan Menon, Executive Editor, Harmony – Celebrate Age.