A large percentage of the world’s population is young today. Increasingly, population studies around the world have thrown up this fact. Although a happy fact, there is one cause of concern – the consequences of this on ageing. The senior citizens today are a lonely lot, what with the younger ones leaving them behind to pursue their careers and their own families. The aged are increasingly finding it difficult to live with peace and dignity.
As a community, the senior citizens are not an attractive lot to any section of the society. Be it politicians, marketing people, or governmental organizations. Being old and infirm, they were treated as a burden. However, a new awakening has dawned and now a lot is being done to take care of the senior citizens. Governments aided by NGOs are leading the way in creating shelter for old and abandoned people in cases where there is no one to take care of them. Governments are making policies in favor of the old and NGOs are chipping in by creating awareness about problems faced by this vulnerable section of our society.
A new branch of medicine called Geriatrics, which deals with the study of diseases of the aged has come into existence. Expressly concentrating on the old people, these doctors spread across nations are helping the senile in hospitals and old-age homes to lead a life of respect and dignity. It is the duty of every citizen to take care of our seniors who have a lot of wisdom that the present world has a severe short coming of. Gerontology is a branch of science which deals with aging. Psychologists and sociologists have taken to this study to understand the psychological and sociological issues the senior citizens face.
The great need of the hour is for governments and citizens to come together and create conditions where the old can live unassisted till they can and to take care of them when they can’t. Governments should pitch in with budgets for creating infrastructure and policies geared towards providing succor to the old. Professionals such as lawyers and doctors must strive to support the old when they need their services the most. The youth must realize that they are bound to reach the senile stage someday and must treat the old with respect and compassion.