Why is a Career important for the Elderly Indian?
Unlike in the US, Europe and other developed countries, where the social security system and health services take care of the retired elderly, the resources in India, both from the government and the private sectors is very limited to provide the Senior Indian Citizen many basic benefits like health care, food, housing and insurance.
Many children of this generation are sadly neglecting the needs of their parents. Infact the joint family system has broken down leading the youngsters to stay away from their parents most often letting the elders fend for themselves.
Many of the retired Indians have invariably borrowed heavily on their retirement funds to conduct their daughter’s marriage or for some such expense. Invariably they are not able to pay this back.
For all these reasons it is upto the elderly to find a definite source of income for themselves. And what better way to do it than find a comfortable job?
But a career is not for economic reasons alone. It keeps the elderly physically and mentally occupied, and in turn helps them to lead an active life. It also increases their self confidence and esteem. So even those who are financially comfortable can decide to take up a career and enjoy the benefits of healthy living.
What if the Senior Citizen wants to lead a quiet life and not take up a job?
While a “quiet life” may seem an excellent idea for people who have worked all their lives, most of the elders cannot remain idle and sit back after a while.
Moreover, the invaluable benefit of being in good health by keeping the body and mind busy, cannot be over emphasized.
So, to work or not is an individual decision that will have to be taken depending on one’s own desire. The work need not necessarily be a paid job. It could even be voluntary service or work rendered by a neighbourhood association. One could teach music or take cookery classes.
There is no doubt that a person who is active is sound in body and mind.
But the jobs open to most elders are limited!
This is unfortunately true. It is for the society to recognise this and make available more jobs for the elderly. It is not enough to just consider an elderly person for a job, but to actively work towards creating jobs for the elders. The Central and State Governments should look at this growing elderly population and make available those kind of jobs that Senior Citizens can handle comfortably. It is the humble request of Silvers Unlimited to people in position and power to consider this seriously.
What does the elderly person have to do to increase the chances of being comfortably employed?
With age comes the ability to shut out all that is new. This should be avoided. The computer for instance is a powerful tool. It has become very user friendly- that is anyone with a bit of practice can learn to operate the computer to do many tasks like send and receive e-mails, or enter day to day accounts. This may seem difficult, but is quiet easy as one learns.
It is also important to give attention to personal hygeine. There is a lot of difference between a shabby elderly person and a smart elder.
One should learn to adjust with society and accept some limitations. The job offered may not always be exactly of the same status as when one was younger. But it is the dignity of work that matters.