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Friday, February 26, 2010

Indian Budget :82.5% elderly affected by inflation- Survey by HelpAge India

As per a random sample survey of Senior Citizens conducted through Senior Citizens Associations across the country by HelpAge India, it has been found that 82.5% of the elderly have been affected adversely by the rise in prices over the last year and 92.4% feel that the Govt. has done nothing in this regard. The lower and the middle income groups have been hit the hardest. 71.6% elderly have cut down on their health expenditure and 40.8% have curtailed expense on nutrition in their diets. 27.8% have witnessed tension/anxiety levels grown in their families due to which their relationships have been strained.

“We have made a representation to the Union Finance Minister for higher exemption to the children who support their older parents. This is needed as there are virtually no institutional support systems for the older persons in the lower and middle income groups and children are their only support system.” says Mr. Mathew Cherian, Chief Executive, HelpAge India.

Around 400 senior citizens during the survey came forward to speak about their dissatisfaction with the Govt. on its failure to control price rise. 84% of the elderly demand subsidized food articles through ration shops & subsidized medical services. 82% want further exemption in Income Tax. 58% elderly across India are looking for a structured re-employment programme by the Govt. Also, an astounding 71.1% want IT exemptions for children who are spending money to maintain their old parents.

The trend has not been very different in some major cities and states too. “With the increase in longevity and an increase in the number of elderly above 80 years or more, the burden on 60 plus age groups has double. They have to cope up with their own diminishing incomes & at the same time account for their old parents’ medical & other costs.” added Mr. Kapil Kaul, Country Head (Advocacy, Resource, Communications),

75.4% senior citizens in Delhi, 76.8% in Kolkata, 70% in Maharashtra and 91% in Tamil Nadu, have also demanded elderly-friendly and easy-to-access Health Insurance Schemes in the upcoming budget. Another major finding has been that approximately 90% of elderly in Uttar Pradesh, 88% in Maharashtra, 80% in Patna, 79% in Gujarat, 76% in Haryana and 61% in Delhi are looking for re-employment opportunities to sustain themselves in inflation struck times. 95% elderly in Kerala are also looking for provisions pertaining to lowering of property/house tax.

The senior citizens of the country, irrespective of any state are clearly unhappy with the Govt. at the centre at present and want it to take more action in controlling the menace of price rise and provide subsidized medical services & food items.

In order to understand the perspective of India’s Senior Citizens holistically, the survey was conducted amongst 12 states in India; namely, Delhi, Maharastra (Mumbai, Pune & Nagpur), Kolkata, Gujarat (Ahmedabad), Tamil Nadu (Coimbatore, Madurai & Chennai), Haryana (Faridabad), Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow), M.P. (Bhopal), Punjab (Chandigarh), Bihar (Patna), A.P. (Hyderabad) and Kerala (Kochi).

For more details, contact: Mr. Mathew Cherian – Chief Executive, HelpAge India [9810042046]; Mr. Kapil Kaul – CH (Advocacy, Resource & Communications) [9810782340]; Sonal Kapoor, Mgr- Communications (HelpAge India): 9540781011

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Holy Family Dementia Support Group Meet Sat 27th Feb Mumbai

Holy Family Dementia Support Group, Mumbai meets every last Saturday of the month, in Feb 2010 we are meeting on Sat 27th.

Holy Family Dementia Support Group is supported by Silver Inning Foundation & ARDSI Greater Mumbai Chapter and works for Dementia & Alzheimer's.

The group is supported by psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, social workers and family members.

Activity for Support Group:

Counseling, Training of family members, Training of professional care givers, Monthly Meeting, Awareness campaign, Sharing, Lectures, Reference Service etc. All services are free.Only therapy if required will be charged.

Contact: Ms.Raheen Jummani - 9029000091 , Email:silverinnings@gmail.com

Date: Sat 27th Feb 2010

Time: 4.00 pm


Memory Clinic


Holy Family Hospital

MUMBAI 400 050

Date and Time for future meetings :

Last Saturday of every month at 4pm to 5pm.

PLS Forward it to your group and friends.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Diet dos and don'ts for senior citizens

As you age, your needs for nutrition increase. Your body is in a degenerative mode. Growth of cells and tissues is slow but repairing of tissues is at a higher rate.

You suffer from low immunity, poor digestion, weak bones and muscles and fatigue. Activity of the body reduces and you may be a victim of metabolic disorders like diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, etc. All this does not mean that you have to eat less. Eating right becomes more important than eating less.

Requirement of vitamins, proteins, minerals, fluids and carbohydrates changes in old age. And all these nutrients have to be packaged in easy-to-digest and easy-to-absorb, small frequent meals which are spread out and spaced well over the entire day.

Ageing is a process, which is associated with a lot of free radical release in the body. It is also called as oxidation of cells. Weak muscles, greying and falling of hair, reduced skin tone, susceptibility to colds and coughs and lack of energy are symptoms of oxidation. Vitamins like vitamin E, C, A and some minerals are essential in right quantities to reduce the ill-effects of free radicals in the body.

At times, food becomes very important during old age as that is the time when you can spend some time with the rest of the members of the family. Women especially should be very careful about their diet in old age. Due to menopause, the ability to absorb calcium reduces and they may get weakness in joints and susceptibility to fractures very easily. Food cooked should be soft and easy to chew, in case there have been teeth extractions or dentures are being used.

Tips to right eating in old age

- Add plenty of natural colour to your diet. Two to three meals of seasonal fruits will work as antioxidants and prevent constipation.

- Egg whites are a good source of protein important for repair of worn out cells and tissues. For vegetarians, paneer made from low-fat milk is good substitute.

- Use of mustard oil or olive oil is a good cooking medium as both prevent high cholesterol and improve good cholesterol in the blood.

- Six to seven small meals in a day aid digestion, absorption and prevent fatigue.

- Vegetables soups without cream and thickening agents are a healthy meal to be taken as a supper.

- Always leave your home with a small healthy snack in your bag, to avoid eating out.

- Avoid processed foods with artificial colours and preservatives.

- Potassium-rich foods like cumin seeds (zeera), sweet limes, fenugreek seeds (methi) and coconut water are good for muscular flexibility, prevent water retention and swellings. They also contribute to maintain blood pressure.

- For a high dose of nutrition, add curd to the dough for rotis to improve the biological value of the cereal, and to keep them soft.

- Oats porridge is an excellent breakfast for seniors.

- Drink about 15 glasses of water in a day to prevent dehydration. In old age, muscle density reduces and susceptibility to dehydration is always very high, especially in summer.

- Do not overcook the food to make it soft as by doing so one destroys vital nutrients. Instead, select foods which need less time to cook.

- Also, exercise regularly, stretch and do yoga to ensure absorption of nutrients well.

In case you suffer from any medical disorder, consult a professional nutrition consultant for your individual requirement.

By Sveta Bhassin, nutritionist and wellness consultant.


Making Room for Aging Relatives

The children may have just moved out but the generation of boomers can't rest yet, as they prepare to renovate their houses to accommodate the needs of aging parents.

In a survey done in 2002, Statistics Canada reported three in 10 adults aged 45 to 64 (or 2.6 million people) had unmarried children under 25 at home. Of this number, 712,000 were also caring for a senior. Of these people, 21 per cent (about 150,000) were looking after two seniors.

Balancing the care of seniors and children is not a new phenomenon. The main difference between the past and the present is that most working-age women are now in the workforce; few women are full-time homemakers. While child-care services have evolved to look after the needs of the young in recent decades, there have been fewer resources devoted to the growing number of seniors.

But some seniors, while appreciative of the efforts their children to look after them, are independent enough to find suitable accommodation on their own.

"I believe living with one's children can put a strain on the relationship," says Abby Thompson, who lives independently in a retirement home with her husband Ken. "Some of our children have homes with suites, but we turned them down so that we can live on our own."

The Thompsons -- she is 85 and he 84 -- lived in a house in Sooke for 23 years. Last year, they moved into a two-bedroom suite in the Ross Place Retirement Residence in Victoria.

Their experience is typical, say experts on aging.

"Most seniors, given the chance, want to stay independent as long as they can," says Dr. Elaine Gallagher, professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Victoria. "While they are appreciative of their children buying homes with suites for their needs down the road, many have come to treasure their independence."

While children are well-meaning, most in-law suites need to overcome three common architectural elements that serve as barriers for universal accessibility for people who might need to use wheelchairs or walkers:

1. Doorways that aren't wide enough for wheelchairs to get through.

2. An entry door sill that is not level.

3. Bathrooms on the main level of the suite that are too small for a person confined to a wheelchair to use.

Other items, while not restricting, are senior-unfriendly. They include:

1. Suites with thick-pile wall-to-wall carpeting that significantly increases the amount of effort necessary to propel an individual confined to a wheelchair across the room.

2. Rooms and hallways designed without thought for adequate turning spaces.

3. Bathtubs not equipped with lower sides and baths or showers lacking grab bars, which can save seniors from a nasty fall.

The physical renovations to make a house senior-friendly are not onerous and, depending on the layout, relatively straightforward.

The real challenge, says Gallagher, who has over 40 years experience in the field, is to have a human back-up system or community support in place to provide necessary home care and respond to emergencies.

According to the Statistics Canada report mentioned above, for those Canadians caring for their parents, only 25 per cent had friends, relatives and neighbours to help, resulting in 70 per cent of them reporting stress in their lives, compared with 61 per cent of workers with no child or elder-care responsibilities.

The report found while eight in 10 caregivers worked, caring for an elderly person could lead to a change in work hours, refusal of a job offer or reduction in income.

"Sometimes it's physically and mentally beyond what one person can supply," says Gallagher.

Victoria has a number of retirement residences that can fill the gap.

Bill Rankin, general manager of Ross Place Retirement Residence, says: "Most of our clients come to us after they have experienced a tipping point in their lives.

"Usually it's after an incident, such as a fall, an illness or they find they now need help with some part of their everyday activities, such as dressing."

His clients, most of whom are in their 80s or older, are provided with a choice of independent or assisted living, depending on their needs.

"Instead of sitting at home watching TV alone, we offer seniors a community-based environment to interact with their peers," says Rankin. "It's a new stage of their lives and they get to participate in activities and meet other people."

A person's twilight years are supposed to comfortable and free from stress. Demographics point that the market will likely burgeon as boomers become seniors themselves in the years ahead. Seniors and their families need to assess their changing needs and adequately plan to find the accommodation that best suits their lifestyle and personality.

"I have no regrets about selling my house and moving here," says Abby Thompson, whose children helped her find, evaluate and choose her new home. "I accept this change as just another adventure."

Source: http://www.globalaging.org/health/world/2010/MakingRoom.htm

Senior Citizens Marriage:they just want a companion

On realising the loneliness faced by his father in-law after his mother-in-law passed away, city resident Kumar Deshpande decided to lend a support to single senior citizens, by arranging a match for them.

But Deshpande realised the gravity of the problem only when he came across nearly 70 single senior citizens who registered to seek partners, while nearly 5,000 more enquired about an event he has scheduled for the first week of March.

Deshpande, who has his own printing business at Lower Parel said, “Two years ago my mother in-law passed away. Later I found that my father-in-law Balkrishna Joshi was alone in Dhule, as his children were settled outside.

A few months after my mother in-law’s death, we started convincing him to remarry. He has now agreed to remarry. This incident inspired me to do something for other single senior citizens too.”

“My idea is not to set up a marriage bureau, but help single senior citizens get a companion,” Deshpande said. He has organised a gathering for single citizens over the age of 50 years at Damodar Hall, Lower Parel, on March 6.

The event will also have lawyers and marriage counsellers who will provide support to the senior citizens. It is free and not limited to any community.

According to Deshpande, some senior citizens just want a companion with whom they can speak to. “A 64-year-old woman told me she wanted a companion but was not willing to remarry as she feared she would lose the pension she was receiving from her husband’s office.” Deshpande said.

Mangesh Dalvi, 95, a resident of Malad said, “At this age I don’t want to remarry but I need a companion who can stay with me as my daughter. She should be aged between 40 and 50 years, either a widow or a divorcee.”

Narrating her plight, a 61-year-old woman who did not wish to be identified said, “My son stays abroad with his family and only visits me once a year. For him, sending me money is enough. I can’t even bother relatives by visiting them frequently.”

Those interested may contact Kumar Deshpande ,Mumbai India on 09819549899/09821999899.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

RTI Filed with MSJE ministry for Revision of NPOP 1999 & Appointment of Committee to review the NPOP 1999

An petition under RTI Act ( Right to Information) has been filed with Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment of India to gain info on various aspect about Appointment of Committee to review the NPOP 1999.The process was not transparent and important NGO's/organization, people working for/with Elderly , Senior Citizens,Gerontologist , Geriatricians, Social Workers/activist, The Standing committee & The National council for Older Person ignored.

Below is draft copy of RTI submitted :

To, The Central Public Information Officer & Director (Ageing), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government Of India, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi-110001

1) Name of the Applicant: Ms.Mona .M

2) Address:Mumbai

3) Particulars of Information: Revision of NPOP 1999 & Appointment of Committee to review the NPOP 1999

Iam a Indian Citizen,Kindly give the following information, keeping in view the spirit of Section 4 (1)-c & d and 6(3) of Right To Information Act, 2005 and para 8 & 9 of circular no. 1/4/2009-IR dt 5-10-09 from Ministry of Personnel, P.G. & Pension. As per Sec 6(3) of the Act, if request is made for information, which is held by another Public Information Officer, the Public Information Officer to whom Application is made shall transfer such part to the concerned Public Information Officer immediately but in no case later than 5 days from date of receipt.

I. Basis on which only 4 People are nominated on the Committee for Review/Revision of NPOP,99 under your letter no.15-40(2)2009-10-AG II dt 28/01/2010 , giving copies of notings and orders of competent authority leading to constitution of this Committee, explaining the need for Review/Revision. Reasons for selecting these only 4 Committee members in preference to several other prominent ones.

II. Details with names of People nominated on the Committee to frame the original NPOP 1999, date of its constitution & date of its report.

III. What was the criteria of committee members for Constitution of Committee to review the NPOP

IV. What was the process of appointment of committee members for Constitution of Committee to review the NPOP

V. What are the credentials of committee members to review the NPOP

VI. Is this information posted on the website of MSJE, if not then why not posted

VII. Reasons for not inviting those members, who had originally framed this policy in 1999

VIII. Did you consult and informed all the members of National Council For Older Person (NCOP) for revision of NPOP 1999 and Constitution of Committee to review the NPOP

IX. If you did not consult and informed all the members of National Council For Older Person (NCOP) for revision of NPOP 1999 , then what is the reason for not doing so

X. Did you consult and informed all the members of Standing Committee of Social Justice and Empowerment

XI. If you did not consult and informed all the members of Standing Committee of Social Justice and Empowerment ,then what is the reason for not doing so

XII. Did you consult and informed all the members of Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment

XIII. If you did not consult and informed all the members of Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment then what is the reason for not doing so

XIV. Reasons for not inviting suggestions directly from all Senior Citizens, their Organizations & other NGOs and citizens by issuing Press Statement/Notification etc.

XV. Reasons for not including and Inviting other important people ,organizations, academician, Gerontologist , Geriatricians and NGO’s in Committee to review the NPOP 1999

XVI. Why expert in the field of Ageing - Gerontologist , Geriatricians not included in this Committee to review the NPOP

4) Reply may be given by E/Mail or by Post.

5) Fee of Rs 10 is paid in Mira Road Post Office as per UCR Rpt.No. A 926 dt 17/02/2010


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