“The Voice of Older
Presented by Mr. Balal Tampoe (Sri Lanka) &
Dr. Daw Myint Myin Khin (Myanmar)
Why is care important in old
It is a basic human right of every individual to be able to
live a full and healthy life with dignity;
Some older people are unable to take care of
themselves, it is important that in the absence of family
they still receive the physical, mental and spiritual care
Society will gain by caring for older people, who in turn,
can share their knowledge and life experience with
Care is beneficial when it is given with love, compassion
and commitment and not just out of duty;
All people people need socialization and contact with
other people. When you are alone you become
isolated which can lead to loneliness and depression
in older people
Reliance on the government’s efforts alone is not the
solution. We need to deliver a community response as
well. Older people are not just passive recipients of
care, we are also capable of delivering services to our
fellow older persons
In what circumstances is living
at home no longer an option?
It was interesting to note that 6 out of the 17 people in this
group live alone.
Poor older people are suffering the most. We must especially
think of them when we are developing policies and initiatives.
We must pressure governments and the public sector to be
more responsible in assisting the poor.
Because younger generations are migrating to urban areas for
employment, there are more older people living alone in rural
areas and less younger people there to help.
Frail older people and people with disabilities may have family,
however they may not be available to take care of them on their
own. This is when some assistance and support may be
What care services will be
required by older people living
alone and why?
Older people are not a homogenous group. They have
different needs at different stages of life.
Services to prevent onset of ageing-related issues must
be provided, such as training in good living practices
(diet, exercise, mental well-being)
Trained volunteers and health care professionals to
provide support in the home for older people when it is
Social connectedness and networking with your own age
group and contemporaries improves morale. This can be
achieved through the formation of community groups
and clubs that provide social activities
Built environments of the house must be adapted to suit
older peoples’ needs including installation of hand-rails,
wheelchair access, space for chairs in shower / bath and
infrastructure that is specifically designed for emergency
Psychological and spiritual support for older people is
needed. This may include assistance with transport to
venues of religious, social and cultural activities.
In rural areas not everyone is able to access government
care services. Community-based care and / or transport
is needed for older people who cannot reach the
hospitals and medical clinics on their own
How can these services be
delivered in urban & rural
Home care services can be provided for older persons
through community organizations in both rural and urban
We need to pressure governments to consider health
care packages as a poverty alleviation measure – this
should incorporate older persons health care services.
Training older people to become community volunteers
to provide holistic care services. We could develop a
network of retired professionals, including nurses and
doctors, who can volunteer and train others to serve the
needs of older people in rural and urban settings.
Train family members to care for older people.