Bengaluru, March 5, 2020: Unmukt Festival and Silver Talkies in association with Nightingales Medical Trust organised a talk on “Secure Present and Future of Elders” at the Bangalore International Center today. India has the second-largest elder population in the world (13 crores) and Karnataka has 9.2% of the population of seniors in the country (as per the 2011 census). While there have been efforts initiated by the government and the private sector to empower the lives of the senior citizens, there is very limited awareness around the same amongst the senior community. Most of them are unaware and lack knowledge on how to secure and safeguard themselves physically, financially and legally.
Speaking on ‘Safety Measures for Seniors’, Isha Pant, IPS, DCP Command Centre, Bengaluru said, “With the change in the societal structure, we see more and more elderly living alone. They become vulnerable to various crimes, abuse and neglect. As a result, many of the elderly people live under fear and insecurity. It is important that they be made to feel safe. For this, there are various safety equipments that can be used. Further, the local police also organise various programmes for them. Our beat constables regularly go and meet them. However, more needs to be done collectively for the wise ones of our society.” After having lived a productive life, post retirement phase becomes a little difficult to handle for several people where they see no purpose in life. This transition needs to be handled very carefully as many people fall prey to depression, anxiety, high BP etc. They need medical as well as psychological help in such times along with social support. “Platforms such as these not only spread awareness but also empower our senior citizens to be better informed and socially independent”, she further added.
As per a CII Report, by 2050, 19% of India’s population will be over the age of 60 years. Senior Advocate Shiv Kumar spoke on the “Legal and financial issues elders need to be aware and vigilant about”. Addressing the gathering, Shiv Kumar explained the basic precautions elders should take while dealing with their financial and legal issues. He also briefly touched upon the topic of a Will and Living Will. Shiv Kumar has been actively involved with the Elder’s Helpline Bangalore (1090) since its inception 16 years ago.
Dr S Radha Murthy, Managing Trustee, Nightingales Medical Trust said, “Initially we provided home health care to mostly senior citizens through Nightingales Home Health Services. But over a period, we realised that apart from health issues, elders also had to deal with loneliness, emotional issues and financial insecurities. If necessary facilities to cater to physical, emotional, financial and social needs of elders could be created, it would help them cope with the ageing process with dignity. We are very proud to be associated with Unmukt Festival to empower the senior community.”
Nightingales Medical Trust (NMT), a non-governmental, secular and charitable organization was founded in the year 1998 to alleviate the different problems faced by the elderly. Striving to
strengthen family bonds and promote community-based support systems, the Trust has conceived and established various innovative and need based projects focusing on dementia care, active ageing, elder abuse, social integration, economic empowerment and capacity building.
Nidhi Chawla, Co-founder and Business head at Silver Talkies added, “Our aim has been that seniors age well and are self-empowered to live their retired years fully. Our association with Unmukt festival as their active ageing partner fits very well with this mission as forums like Unmukt allow seniors to stay informed about the services available for them in the market and enrich themselves through various engagement programs undertaken as part of the festival.”
Monimita Sarkar, Founder – Unmukt Festival said, “With the rapidly changing demographics, there is a need to create an eco-system that brings together key stakeholders to a common platform to better understand and serve the elder community. This will in turn, ensure the safety of the senior citizens, thus making them more secure not only in their homes but also outside.”
Keeping the above objective at the core, Unmukt Festival, India’s first comprehensive expo brings providers of products and services addressing senior life and retirement planning, to a single platform where users of these solutions can engage with them directly. The expo will be held in Bengaluru on March 21 and 22 at Nalapad Pavilion, Palace Ground.