Gone are the days when the elderly were considered a burden on the family and the society. Now they named as Senior Citizens who are giving valuable guidance to the society. They form their own groups, clubs and other social service organisations to render service to the society. One such club is Probus club of Chennai sponsored by Rotary club of Chennai. The club has nearly 500 elderly professionals and businessmen as its members. They organise regular meetings and have useful discussions on the problems and solutions thereof pertaining to not only senior citizens but also to the Society.
Some of the services they extend to the society are:
1. Giving scholarships to meritorious poor students.
2. Conducting various health camps.
3. Visiting old age homes to cheer up the less fortunate elderly people who are living there.
4. Honouring Probus club members having exemplary service activities with Probus Recognition awards and non Probus members with Probus excellence award to encourage them to do more services in future.
5. Celebration of International women’s day and International day of the elderly on which day these awards will be distributed.
In addition to the above, the club encourages the talents of the members by conducting several cultural activities. Writing talents are one of the most important among them.
To improve the writing talents, the club releases books on elderly living on every International day of elders, which contain articles written by senior citizens, mostly members on various issues especially those which have relevance to senior citizens.
So far 25 books have been released by the club and the last book was released on this year’s International day of elderly on 4th October, 2017.containing 87 articles contributed by members, who are the standing examples of joyful and healthy living. While it is not possible to give a count of all the members notes about members who have written about the health of senior members along with a brief report on their articles are given below:
Prof Dr V.Balambal is a retired Principal of women’s college of repute, ex=president in Rotary club who has travelled to several countries informs that cancer, reproductive health, HIV, violence against women, dementia, osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, are the vital issues for women’s health. However, there is marked improvement in medical services. Though medical services have improved a lot, ignorance plays very important role in the health life of poor elderly women.
Rotary/Probus ex-president further suggests the following steps for the better living of poor elderly women:
* It is important to plan for the old age
** One should keep herself active and have free movement.
(suggestions from other members are given in the following paragraphs)
Mrs Lakshmi Natarajan is an active academician and is continuing her educational activities as a freelancer after retirement.
1. Pick up a new hobby or a long neglected one.
2. Play with your grandchildren, children of the family and pets.
3. Learn something new like music, foreign language, game thereby earning new friends too.
4. Attend some local events preferably as a volunteer.
5. Teach in subjects known to you, drama troups or sports team.
6. Make week-end trips and travel a lot.
These six steps will keep one youthful though they may be grown ups in chronological age.
Mr R.T.Namasivayam, Retired Engineer and the sitting President of the club has the following suggestions to make.
1. One may keep a permanent cook and helper with him in the house. As a pre cautionary measure, he should maintain the servants’ Police records and also should have good liaison with local officials. On line services are to be effectively utilised.
2. one can choose also old age homes as another opportunity to live in a community of senior citizens. They should liaise local officials to get Aadhar cards, Ration cards etc with ease which can not be obtained through computer applications.
3. If the senior citizen is affluent, he can own a villa or apartment in a community living complex. Enough bank balance is to be maintained to meet with any exigency.
Above all, health should be taken care of and the senior citizen should be punctual for all health check ups and regular in follow up medication, if any.
Shri S.Gopalakrishnan, retired General Manager of a nationalised bank gives suggestions regarding investment options. He has given a vivid account of investment options meant exclusively for senior citizens which will be useful for those who have retirement funds with them for immediate investments in a prudent manner. Most of the time, people are cheated by bogus investment companies offering very high interest rates and then run away For such people, these suggestions are very much useful in depositing with Government institutions with assured returns.
In short, there are two types of people God has created, 1. privileged people 2. under privileged people. It is horrible to live in poverty, that too at the age of 70 and above. Poetess Avvaiyar (who was also very old) centuries ago, “It is horrible to live in poverty, that too, in youth”. The same may be corrected “It is horrible to live in poverty, that too in oldness, where solitude also tortures them”.
It is the duty of the more privileged to help and protect the less privileged ones. By that act, they will also derive the benefit of self satisfaction and peace of mind.
That is the way for “Joyful Ageing” as explained by various articles of this book.