“The Voice of Older People”

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“The Voice of Older People”

  1. 1. “The Voice of Older People” Presented by Mr. Balal Tampoe (Sri Lanka) & Dr. Daw Myint Myin Khin (Myanmar)
  2. 2. Why is care important in old age?  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 they require;  Society will gain by caring for older people, who in turn, can share their knowledge and life experience with younger generations;  Care is beneficial when it is given with love, compassion and commitment and not just out of duty;
  3. 3. Continued…  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
  4. 4. 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 required.
  5. 5. 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 needed.  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
  6. 6. Continued…  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 situations.  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
  7. 7. How can these services be delivered in urban & rural settings?  Home care services can be provided for older persons through community organizations in both rural and urban settings.  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.
  8. 8. Continued…

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