Caring for the old: Their privileges and rights
Dr. Foqan Uddin Ahmed :
Rights refer to power, position and status. Through power, position and status right is established. By the virtue of the above-mentioned three things, a society becomes glamorous and shining. Society loses is charms, dignity and prestige without access to the rights of fundamental things in human life. Human life becomes barren and inactive where there is lack of rights. Where there is no exercise and honest practice of equal rights, humanity is hampered.
Everything of the old in our society must be taken care of. They must not be burdened with the anxiety of life. They must be want-free and stress-free. Wants or lack will give them pain and sufferings. Again, the old should not be misguided or mishandled. Youth must not be indocile to them. In old days, a man or woman may be blind, deaf or dumb for their complicacies. If such a person is found crossing the road they must be assisted by the youths. The neighbor of the old or their relation in the society must be polite and submissive towards the old. Because the old people in their past did a lot for the welfare of the society and they contributed a lot as it is managed by the youths. Therefore, hard attitude is not accepted by ethics. Their previous contribution must be recognized by family and society. In our society, there are many old and crippled people who are not properly respected by their successors. The old father or mother is not properly looked after. Rather they are treated inhumanly. They are tortured by the family members or even abused. Service is not properly rendered to them. They are maltreated and no nourishment is provisioned for them. They are kept isolated, unfed and pass time with no medical care. They often live in unhygienic and unhealthy environment. No safe drinking water, clean bed-room, wash-room, bath-room is allocated for them. They are not well attended even at the time of their critical condition.
In the west or developed countries, there are old management centers. The old are managed there as per routine program followed by the designated rules and policies of the centre chief and supervisors. There are required number of attendants and nurses to look after their everyday affairs. A board may be constituted by the members from them. They sit together, discuss and find out the points and counter points of the system which to be maintained. In the west, all are guaranteed by the government. Everything is brought to a specified scale. Wants of the old are completely separate than that of the children or youth. Every want of the old must be considered as of a right and not as a mercy. Their wants must be assessed well, evaluated and monitored properly. They must in no way be neglected. Their choice and likings must be prioritized and fulfilled. If they are not understood, it will create unhealthy atmosphere. They may react for which the old man’s complicacies will increase and it will be unmanageable. The old should maintain the mental peace of mind. If the old are not properly nourished, they may get crazy and clumsy situation will arise. So the old should not be disturbed. They should be handled very correctly, carefully and very cautiously. Old age is very highly sensitized. They may collapse from mental pressure. We must be sympathetic upon the old. In no way, we should be intolerant and inconsiderate to them.
The old people should be provided with the recreational facilities and necessary privileges. They should not be isolated from society. If they are detached it would be very unkind and cruel. Directly and indirectly there should have the arrangement to join every social affair. By participating in any festival, they can enjoy and get mental satisfaction as if they are part and parcel of the family and social events. If any elderly has any hobby of his/her own, they must be given the freedom to do it. If one is interested in indoor playing, he/she must be allowed to do it. They also need company to perform recreational job. These arrangements need to be made for their peace. They should have a different world from where they can find pleasure and charms of life. The way they want to lead their life may not be accommodative but they should be assisted and given the support of all means what they deserve. They should chat, play, do fun, practice newspapers reading, work, smile, watching movies and share love, feeling and emotion. Always he must pass his time in enjoyment and merriment. Old are not always neglected. In their old age they can help us with their teaching, wisdom, knowledge and experience. By their experience society can be enriched and we can flourish ourselves. Although old are not gold they must be cared cordially and taken care of. And finally all their rights and privileges must be maintained.
Writer is former Deputy Director General and Commandant, Ansar VDP Academy