EDUCATION is essential for the elderly about their rights, which is a critical tool in enhancing one’s ability to make decisions regarding one’s children, education, health, and home affairs. Unfortunately, discri- mination against the elderly persists in our country.

The general lack of awareness about the difficulties older adults encounter is one of the main causes of their neglect in Pakistan. Conventional cultural norms place a higher priority on the upbringing of children and younger family members than on the elderly. ‘Respect’ is all that the elderly stand to get in our traditional pattern. Nobody wants to understand them and their issues.

Pakistan, like many other countries, might not have the money necessary to set up a strong social safety net for the elderly. Besides, when it comes to providing support and care of the elderly, there are gaps in government policies and initiatives.

Specific actions can be implemented, such as promoting as well as funding non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that seek to enhance senior citizens’ quality of life and living situations, using technologies to overcome their mobility and health issues, and creating an online learning environment with a flexible speed and accessibility that may address the needs of our senior citizens. In order to make policies and programmes, it is important to gather data on the needs and difficulties faced by older persons in society.

One way to combat social isolation is to sponsor intergenerational initiatives. The challenges can be made more widely known through public education campaigns, media coverage and by arranging community-based activities. Raising awareness helps the public comprehend the requirements of senior citizens and be more sympathetic to their challenges. A comprehensive strategy involving the government, civil society and the community at large is needed. By better understanding these problems, society may move towards creating an atmosphere that is more welcoming and supportive of the elderly.

Aisha Allah Dino
Karachi

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2024

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