We have no replacement for elderly members of our families Says Dr Mittal

NEW DELHI : Society today is modern developing nation. However, when it comes to planning for the comprehensive services for the care of the elderly, this role and responsibility is abandoned by the state and the family and the society has to take care of it.
The old needing long term care and chronically sick and disabled have to be dependent for their care on the goodwill and the mercy of the members of the family, sometimes for short intervals and more often for a longer life span- a few years or even decades.
Over the years past century, remarkable changes have occurred worldwide in the number of older persons and in the specific conditions of their aging. The rate of major causes of death has declined significantly. This has accelerated the growth of the elderly population, particularly in the proportion of the population aged 65 years and older in the total population.
This increase will continue dramatically over the next 50 years. This population change has a profound impact on society. There is not only an increase in medical and other care needs associated with the growth of the elderly population, but also a variety of far-reaching effects onsociety and culture.
Dr. Onkar Mittal, author of the book “Care of the Aged” based  on the problems of elderly people in society, made this comment while shedding light on the issues related to the elderly. He said that while medical science touches only twenty percent of this problem. The challenge of old age is actually the challenge of care. There is a lack of thinking and discussion on this aspect everywhere. The present monograph is an initial effort towards filling this gap.
A function was organized at the India International Center (IIC) on the occasion of the first death anniversary of Ganga Joshi) Alias Kakhi under the aegis of Sambhavna, an organization dedicated to Persons with Special Needs. In this function, three visually impaired students were given scholarships on the basis of their last year’s (2023) 12th (CBSE) results.
These scholarships have been named by Dr. Gopa Joshi, retired Associate Professor, Ramjas College, Delhi University, in the name of its late elders. The names of these scholarships are as follows. Shri Ambadatt Meritorious Scholarship was awarded to the student. Shri Madhusudan Dutt Joshi Meritorious Scholarship was awarded to the girl student. Smt. Ganga Joshi Scholarship was given to the girl student this year for outstanding contribution in extracurricular activities. It will be given to the student next year. 
The program was attended by distinguished guests—Jamia Hamdard Registrar Dr. Sikander, Dr. Omkar Mittal and retired Professor Tarkeshwari Negi. On this occasion, Professor Vidyut Mohanty released the book Care of the Aged written by Dr. Mittal. Journalist Kaushal Kishore, retired Professor Vinay Bhardwaj, cardiologist Dr. Prem Agarwal and Ms. Meera Khanna discussed the book.
Famous legal expert Professor Upendra Baxi gave his blessings through his message. In the end, dedicated member of Sambhavna, Mr. Ram Singh expressed his gratitude to everyone.
Reviewing various case studies, Dr Mittal’s book elaborates on various ways of caring for the elderly in the global and Indian context. He notes that the present generation has to restructure and redefine their relationship and roles and responsibilities towards the elders. The tradition has outlived its utility in this regard. At the same time, the present generation has to take sufficient cognizance of the expectation of the elders from their children to provide them love affection and personal care services in time of need, especially by those who have become functionally disabled.
The professional care giver can play a supportive and complimentary role, but cannot replace the roles and responsibilities of the family members, especially those of the sons and daughters.
We have no replacement for the elderly members of our families. We might have bad memories and difficult personal experiences and grievances. Despite all these bad memories and bad experiences, we should treasure their memories and should not forget our elders. Their memories should not be dispensed with in a garbage.

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