Helpline to tackle old age loneliness
By Shwetha Vipin and Shalini Jose | Published: 03rd December 2012 08:55 AM |
As Anton Chekhov said, “people who lead a lonely existence always have something on their minds that they are eager to talk about.”
At a time when traditional joint families are giving way to nuclear families the aged are at the receiving end. They lead a lonely existence with hardly anyone to share their thoughts in their twilight years.
As a panacea for the issue, HelpAge India has introduced a helpline for the aged to share their thoughts and feelings. The service is available 24x7 for the elderly who are desperately in need of a lending ear. The helpline number is 18001801253.
“We have received around 28 to 30 calls a month and we encourage reflective listening to the senior citizens,” says Biju Mathew, Kerala state in-charge of Help Age India.
He also said the aged members of society find solace speaking to the counsellors at the helpline desk as they are neglected by their children and grand children. This helpline which was once only used for providing information and old age home assistance has now become a source of great emotional support for the lonely souls.
Previously, the aged were dumped into old age homes forcefully but now the trend is changing and many of them are volentarily joining the senior care homes. Loss of power and economic stability is found to be the reason for the retired lot to willingly opt for old age homes.
With 10 per cent as the benchmark for an aging society, Kerala has already exceeded this limit with an aging population of 13 per cent thereby making these homes teem with the aged.