What the elderly need is care, psychological support

Muscat, Oct 3 – The percentage of the elderly in Oman was six per cent of total population up to the end of February 2016. The figure is expected to increase until 2020.
This brings us to the most relevant point. What the elderly need is constant care as well as psychological support. On the occasion of the International Day of the Elderly, it is important to safeguard the rights of aged people and help them secure the same in the simplest manner possible.
We should ensure their rights and dignity are protected, they are treated well, and their needs are taken care of.
The very thought of leading a “decent life” after reaching old age can be worrying for many. It could be due to various reasons. It can cause so much of a turmoil in their lives that many go into a severe depression.
In order to help deal with such problems during old age, social welfare homes have been established. Al Rustaq, for instance, takes care of the elderly, and provides them with a comfortable place to live and offers special medical treatment. It also organises entertainment tours and trips to tourist and historical places for the elderly.
In order to ensure they are following a healthy lifestyle, one needs to pay attention to their food. Hence, the provision of nutritious food assumes prime importance.
Apart from health, the care centres also focus on their psychological wellbeing. Which is why we can find many specialists them a patient hearing and trying to understand/solve their problems, if any.
According to experts, psychology has a prime role in the health status of the elderly. We should give prominence to it as it can affect their health significantly.
Specialists work on treating their problems, including prescribing anti-depressants sometimes depression may lead them to suicide.
While all these roles are performed by the state, the society too has a role to play by not making them feel they are a burden to the others.
Omani Association of Friends of the Elderly is a voluntary organisation established in 2011 to follow-up on the needs of the elderly and support them so that they enjoy a decent life.
Kadeeja al Gaithi, Head of Elderly Friends Association in Suhar, said the association carries out its tasks through several committees, including social, health, sports & tourism committees, media committee, elderly affairs committee, and volunteer affairs and training committee.
Most important activities of the association are to identify the elderly and their place of residence, training volunteers with the elderly and educating the elderly to deal with themselves. It also organises annual Umrah trips for the elderly at the level of the Sultanate, besides trips and sports activities.
Khalifa Mohammed al Qasmi from Al Khabourah, an elderly participant in Suhar, is happy he gets to participate in a lot of activities and his needs are taken care of.
“What makes me happy is we are taken on trips, where we meet new friends. That is half the treatment that old people care need. It gives them the feeling that they are important.”
Saleema al Zaabi from Saham, was gratefulness for the elderly friends who she meets sometimes. “I wish I knew them before. I am lucky I know people who take care of us.”

Siham al Saidi