HC Concern for senior citizens

The Orissa High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the State Government over non-implementation of the provisions under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
Acting on a writ petition filed by a senior citizen Tarini Charan Padhy of Nabarangpur, the division bench of Chief Justice AK Goel and Justice AK Ratha has directed the State to file response within four weeks.
The petitioner drew the attention of the Court to the problems and sufferings of the elderly population in the State due to non-implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act in the State.
The Act while mandating establishment of old age homes, providing special beds and wards for senior citizens in healthcare centres along with facilities for their treatment has stipulated constitution of Tribunals to deal with the problems and complaints of the elderly. They should be treated with respect.
It is a matter of grave concern that even after a lapse of five years, the State Government has not even moved to frame the rules for the act nor taken any steps to implement the provisions. Despite repeated appeals to the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, and other Government authorities no action has been taken, Padhy alleged. The petitioner submitted that the population of senior citizens in India is steadily on the rise and projected to grow faster in the coming years.Senior citizens constitute 8.5 per cent of the population at present in State, however, it is more than the national average.
This evolving demographic situation calls for fresh thinking at the policy level to not only take care of the ageing population but also devising ways in which the potential of the senior citizens can be fully utilised.
You can read the original here.

Of remote caregivers and happy endings…

Mr. P came to our store yesterday. Since his mother’s passing 6 months ago, he had not had any reasons to come to our store, so it was a bit of a surprise for us.

More surprisingly, instead of the usual glum look, he was grinning from ear to ear. And he had a lady in tow. With a great deal of affection he introduced the lady as his lovely wonderful sister from Delhi. He also announced that his sister had arranged for an all expenses paid 15-day trip to Europe for him and that he was leaving next week and would like to buy some Anti-embolism stockings for himself.

He chatted with us for a few more minutes, paid for the socks and left with a spring in his step.

We were happy to see this wonderful change in Mr. P for we knew that neither his life nor the relationship with his sister had been so sunny before.

His ailing mother had lived with him for over 10 years till her recent death. A seventy year old retiree himself, it must have been difficult to look after himself and his mother. His sister apparently had offered to look after their mother, but unfortunately the Delhi climate had not suited her so after a short stint she had returned to Chennai to stay with her son.

According to Mr. P, his mother had been a dynamic woman, till a sudden stroke imprisoned her to her bed. A lot of the frustration she must have obviously felt subsequently was regularly taken out on poor Mr. P, as he was the only one around, and that caused him quite a bit of angst. Things got worse when his sister came visiting (which she did diligently every month or so, for a day or two) as their mother showered a whole lot of love on her daughter during those monthly visits.

Mr. P found it difficult to reconcile the fact that he did all the looking after, but was treated so badly, while his sister could just breeze in once in a while, cuddle up with mom, feel happy and go back to her life.

After every such visit, Mr. P would personally visit our store (forsaking the door delivery facility), ostensibly to collect some more diapers for his mother but really to vent his pent up frustrations. Once in a fit of rage, he said “I do all the cleaning and feeding etc., and all I get is cursed roundly”. After fuming for a while his anger subsided, and then he continued “My sister is nice. What can she do if my mother is frustrated with me? I guess it is good that she is here and amma is happy for at least a couple of days”. On our part, we were happy to be his release mechanism. After all, we are no strangers to such situations having seen similar stories play out at many of our clients’s homes.

We have a name for people like Mr. P’s sister – Non-resident family caregivers. As a class, they are usually well-intentioned and try to be as helpful as possible. They are also usually guilt ridden, being unable to participate more in the caregiving process. However, their good intentions do not always translate into supportive action. More often than not, their well-meaning suggestions come out as ill-conceived meddlesome advice.

If you are a non-resident caregiver, understand that the primary caregiver is usually under a lot of stress and hence may be a little short of patience, even though they would very much like to have all the support from you. The best way you can be a remote caregiver is to be supportive of the primary caregiver and shower them with all the love and affection you can give.

Mr.P’s sister is doing just that and we can see how that is having such a positive impact on his life. We wish Mr.P Bon Voyage and wish him many more happy years ahead!

Second Innings in careers – A mela in West Bengal

A mela in West BengalTo help senior citizens to step into life with second career options after retirement, the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBHIDCO) is holding a senior citizen mela to help them train and choose career options.

The senior citizen mela is being held at Rabindra Tirtha in New Town Rajarhat adjacent to Kolkata from Friday and will continue till Monday, WBHIDCO sources said today.

In the mela workshops are being held to help senior citizens learn on cooking and home delivery, IT and Desktop publishing, Handicraft and run a boutique, beautician course to run a beauty parlour, so that they can start their second career options, the sources said.

Seminars are being held on legal matters, developing writing skills and net publishing, Home tourism, Financial management, diabetics – know your numbers – way to a healthy life to help senior citizens, they said.

A fashion show by the senior citizens was also held in the mela.

In the mela, a book fair is being held. Life of Rabindranath Tagore, art and paintings of Rabindranath Tagore and commemoration of 100 years of receiving Nobel prize by Rabindranath Tagore showcased by the Information and Cultural Affairs department of government of West Bengal is also being organised.

The original article is here.( https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/mela-to-help-senior-citizens-start-second-innings-114030200166_1.html)

How senior citizens should strategise insurance buying

How senior citizens should strategise insurance buyingLifestyle changes with age and so does aspirations. In this case, you have to take a special review of your insurance portfolio, especially after 50 years of age. There are many people who buy different types of insurance policies during their young age. That’s good and it helps in developing a sizeable corpus along with protection against risks.

Nonetheless, after the age of 50, life brings forth many more complications besides the physical feebleness. Retirement issues haunt the mind and responsibilities that have not been fulfilled yet rob most of the space in the life. Since you have spent all your lifetime in procuring the assets and securing your future, you should take care that your belongings are not left astray to various uncertainties. At the same time, it is imperative that you protect yourself and take care of your health to spend the remaining life happily.

Here are a few tips on what should be considered after the age of 50 to optimise the insurance portfolio without losing on any financial aspects.

Health insurance: During old age, you require due care and attention to your health. After 50 years of age, you can focus more on a comprehensive health insurance plan. You might wonder whether or not insurance companies in India offer health insurance to people above 50 years. The answer is: yes.

Until a few years ago, insurance companies were reluctant to provide health insurance coverage to people above 50 years. But now it is different scenario. In 2009, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) categorically asked insurance companies to extend health insurance coverage to people up to 65 years.

The regulator also prevents refusal of health insurance services or undue charging of premium amount due to old age.

There are companies which have specific health insurance plans for people above 50 years age. In fact, many offer coverage against pre-existing conditions and provisions without medical tests. Amount of premium is indeed higher in such cases but that ensures a complete peace of mind.

Some plans also offer additional riders such as provision of medical reimbursement for tests as well. As per the IRDA ruling, the amount of reimbursement in such cases should not be less than 50 per cent.

Life insurance: If you think very logically, you will realise that life insurance is meant to replace policy holder’s income in case of death. It may sound brutal but going by this rationale, you may think of reducing your investment in life insurance premium to an extent which is bare minimum. This amount should be able to provide necessary support to your dependents. Over that, you can invest more in regular income producing instruments.

Naturally, these instruments could be insurance plans that provide a combination of health insurance, life insurance and pension scheme.

You may consider liquidating traditional endowment insurance policy as it may not serve your purpose after a certain age.     

Car insurance: There seems to be no evidence of increase in premium due to the old age of the driver. However, if you have been a responsible driver for quite a long time, insurer may renew your car insurance policy at a comparatively lower rate of premium. If nothing else pays in the old age, experience holds you for what you have achieved in so many years. For the same reason, there are lesser probabilities of you getting into a collision.

Then again, if you have recently got the possession of car and you are new to driving, you should not acquire the car insurance policy in your name in order to avoid the higher premium rate.  But if there is no other choice, insurer may charge higher price against providing you the protection.

You can consider pooling wherever possible, if you need to use car frequently. In that case, you can also prefer other modes of transport. This will not increase the number of miles run by your car and you can ask your insurer to reduce the premium due to the same.

Pension plans: Pension plan is widely used as retirement tool to enhance the savings and increase the financial security during the old age. You must be on the verge of receiving the annuities by now. Even if you do not have any pension plan yet, it is never too late to plan for the future.

You can utilize your savings to acquire a retirement plan. Since you have already reached your age now, you do not need to defer your annuities. Instead, you can pay the lump sum premium for the first and the last time and you are ready to receive annuities as regular monthly income immediately.

A lot of preference is given to senior citizens in India. Moreover, insurance companies have dedicated cells to address the issues of senior policyholders. You just need to keep your insurance documents and birth certificates or related documents handy to smooth out the renewal procedure of existing policies or to make the purchase of new ones an easy task.

This article has been contributed by www.policyx.com.  The views expressed in this article are that of policyx.com and are not necessarily the opinion of Old is Gold Store.

From the Hindu – About older people and technology

Today’s youngsters think that technology can take care of their parents while they live abroad, claims a senior citizen.

AD: Hi, what’s up? You seem pretty upset.

BC: Just got back from my neighbour’s place. I get all worked up when I see someone choose another country as their home and expect technology to bridge the gap between them and their folks.

AD: I don’t understand…

BC: Most people settled abroad think that they’ve done their duty by calling their parents a couple of times a week. They simply don’t understand that it doesn’t make up for their absence back home.

AD: Not all of them.

BC: Even if they take a vacation, they would rather holiday at some exotic place than visit their parents.

AD: Look, life abroad is not as rosy as you think it is… Besides, in today’s world, you have to find ways of keeping in touch — e-mails, Facebook, chats…

BC: Not all senior citizens are comfortable with technology. It’s so difficult to learn something new after a particular age, especially for those who have never stepped out of their homes.

AD: There are so many ways to learn these days… And there’s online help as well.

BC: What if even getting online is a problem for them?

AD: But it’s so easy to operate services like Skype.

BC: There we go again — even if they learn to operate a laptop, turn the Internet on and sit in front of the camera, they begin to panic if the image freezes or the audio doesn’t work for a few seconds, because they don’t know what’s going wrong.

AD: But operating a mobile is easy, right? And there are several apps that can help them to…

BC: You’re looking at things from your viewpoint. You were born with all this technology around you. In their case, they are having their grandchildren teach them things. There’s a big difference… Some of them are uncomfortable, others get intimidated.

AD: So why are you blaming technology for it?

BC: Because its presence is what makes today’s generation think that it’s fine to keep in touch with parents back home through some new-fangled device. They don’t realise that the older lot will also be forced to adopt the same technology in order to respond.

AD: But technology is getting friendly.

BC: Hardly! Electronic goods manufacturers are so keen on making products child-friendly or child-proof, but unfortunately, when it comes to the older lot, they show scant regard…

AD: Why, what do you want them to do?

BC: What about special mobile phones for senior citizens who are probably not very comfortable with the current smartphones or the tiny keypads in regular mobiles? What about computers that are voice-enabled…

AD: There are mobiles, computer keyboards and tablets designed especially for the older users.

BC: But I haven’t seen much on the shelves here. I hope you aren’t going to suggest that they buy these gadgets online…

AD: Don’t you think senior citizens need to embrace the changing world?

BC: You also need to consider the other problems of old age — failing eyesight, trembling hands, a nervous disposition, poor memory…

AD: That’s the reason why technology has ushered in a concept known as pervasive computing. Based on this, computers — equipped with sensors and requisite software — observe and learn more about a person’s habits non-intrusively. Soon, they become familiar with a senior citizen’s habits and take over as a guide, in case his memory fails him or if he forgets to do something, like take his medicines, for instance.

BC: Sounds good, but these things need to move from being a dazzling experiment to a way of life for us to feel their utility.

AD: So what are you trying to say? That technology is a senior citizen’s biggest enemy?

BC: You’re exaggerating, but the point is, people abroad must understand that filial duties go beyond swinging by once in a while and gifting their folks an iPad.

The original article is here.


The high court asks the government to establish old age homes in every district

The high court asks the government to establish old age homes in every districtThe Allahabad High Court (HC) has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to expedite the formulation of rules for the safety of senior citizens in the state.

Directing the government to make rules under the Senior Citizen Act and also to constitute a body to hear and redress problems being faced by the aged, the high court asked it to establish old age homes in every district.

These shelters, the court said, should be big enough to house 150 people and should be given proper staff and health facilities for which the state government should make budgetary provisions.

A bench of Justices Sunil Ambwani and Dinesh Gupta also expressed their dismay at the fact that while the Senior Citizen Act was passed by parliament in 2007, nothing serious had been done in Uttar Pradesh to get it implemented.

The government counsel told the bench that while the notification for implementation of the Act had been issued by the state government, the rules were being framed and were under process.

The court directed the principal secretary (social welfare) to issue a fresh notification and give a sworn affidavit of its implementation by Feb 10.

The court gave these directions Tuesday while hearing a public interest litigation filed by lawyer Junaid Ezaz with regard to senior citizens whose children were not looking after them.

You can read the original article here.


Portable, light-weight chair

Portable, light-weight chairA light-weight, portable dark grey-green chair with back support is easy to carry and deploy/fold.  The chair has wide base legs that do not sink into the ground even when kept on sand. At 41 cm high, it allows a high seating comfort. Ideal to take to the beach or temple. The chair comes with 2 years manufacturer warranty and is certified to take up 110kgs of weight.

Weights on 2.4 Kgs. Dimensions : 77 x 50 x 77 cm. Seat: height = 41 cm, width = 41 cm.


To buy, go here.