Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

Key Speakers

“The Needs & Rights of Retired Service Personnel”

( 28th September 2008, India Habitat Centre)

The society today is going through a process of change. With ever-increasing number of older persons, all equations are changing. Larger percentage of older persons on macro level and longer age cycle on micro level pose challenges to individuals and society both.

Agewell Foundation is an NGO dedicated towards the welfare of Older Persons across the country. In its latest endeavor to further the cause and motivate public opinion about needs & rights of older persons, Agewell has undertaken to hold a Series of symposiums on Social, Medical, Legal, Financial & Emotional needs & rights of Older Persons. As eleventh symposium in the series “The Needs & Rights of Retired Service Personnel, it is an open forum which will have discussions and debates addressing the problems and difficulties being faced by elder segment of the society, especially by retired service personnel. This is an attempt to once again remind and sensitize the society, opinion leaders, policy makers, media persons and others to come together and empower the older persons.

Marked increase in life span, erosion of traditional family support mechanism, minimal social safety net and growing marginalization of Older Persons by family and society is the bane that most Older Persons undergo, thus making old age an uphill task.

We have seen the evolution of the cultural philosophy of old age from family oriented living and protection of the aged to modern society’s institutionalization of elderly. Yet the range of facilities and services is very much varied between these two extremes. There is also the aspect of the need for change and rethinking as to the magnitude and size of the problem in view of large population reaching old age without any serious impairment and extended longevity after 60 years of age.

Humans do not live by food alone. Psychological contentment and emotional succor are also important in one’s life. Emotional help provides hope to hopeless, love to neglected and owning to disowned.

Many problems faced by Older Persons arise due to their feeling of alienation by family and society. Agewell Foundation has been focusing on this particular aspect of rehabilitation as these victims of neglect and alienation experience extreme emotional reactions of anger, guilt and even nightmare. These emotions also encroach upon physical domain. Emotional support to alienated Older Persons brings them into the mainstream of society.

Although Indian philosophical thought focuses on duties and obligations rather than rights, still recognition of needs & rights of Older Persons should not be ignored anymore.

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