World Elders Day 2016 and launch of India Elder Connect Movement
On Saturday, October 1 as the world observed the United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) also known as World Elders Day, back home in Namma Bengaluru, more than 150 senior citizens and young Bengalureans gathered to observe World Elders Day workshop - Connect Elders, Correct Ageism: A campaign to build a community of empowered elders through technology organized by Nightingales Medical Trust. The workshop also marked the launch of India Elder Connect an exclusive website for the elderly by Chief Guest Professor S. Sadagopan, Director IIIT Bangalore. NMT plans to continue the India Elder Connect movement and take this exclusive platform to all corners of the country encouraging more and more seniors to help build a community of empowered elders.
The event that began at 8 am kick started with a paper bag challenge outside Manipal Centre, Dickenson road with walkers and office goers enthusiastically participating in the paper bag challenge – What’s my age! The activity was organized to break the stereotypes associated with ageism and emphasize on the fact that age is just an overhyped number.
Prof. Sadagopan during the keynote address highlighted that the field of technology is a promising one for elders if used in the right manner. He also pointed out that according to stats, Indian elders are one of the biggest contributors of social connection apps such as Skype and Google.
www.indiaelderconnect.com is a comprehensive web portal for senior citizens in India providing them with a platform to network, connect and stay active by asking important questions on health, sharing their stories and opinions and guiding each other, finding solutions to new concerns and eventually building interactive communities. The website also looks at providing families and carers with resources to understand and meet senior citizens’ caregiving needs. A central hub for information on elder care services and best practices, the website makes it easier for these carers to reach out for help from trained professionals in times of need. The website will also provide a platform to locate, rate and review services that are available for senior citizens in India including active ageing, day care, dementia care, holiday care, hospice care, legal assistance, financial assistance, medical care, old age homes, psychiatry, physiotherapy and retirement homes; to learn about health conditions that commonly affect senior citizens and legal issues pertaining to senior citizens; and to become aware of the various schemes and concessions that are available for senior citizens in India.
The workshop also addressed significant points on topics of ageism and legal rights of the elderly through discourses given by guest speakers - Gerontologist Mrs Indira Jayaprakash and Senior Advocate Mr Shiv Kumar.
The full day workshop concluded with an hour session on active ageing for elderly followed by closing remarks by Co-founder and Secretary Mr. Premkumar Raja on the need to build a elder community of purpose aiming at economic empowerment, affordable healthcare, tackling elder abuse and ensuring minimum standards of care in old age homes.