Aging Joyfully: Published by Probus Club of Chennai, a book on healthy living by senior citizens
Gone are the days when the elderly were considered a burden on the family and society. They are now referred to as senior citizens who provide valuable guidance to society. They form their own groups, clubs and other social service organizations to serve the society. One such club is Probus club of Chennai sponsored by Rotary club of Chennai. Nearly 500 adult professionals and businessmen are members of the club. They organize regular meetings and conduct useful discussions on problems and their solutions, which concern not only the elderly but also the society.
Some of the services they provide to the public are:
1. Giving scholarships to deserving poor students.
2. Conducting various rehabilitation camps.
3. Visiting nursing homes to cheer up the less fortunate elderly who live there.
4. Honoring Probus Club members who have exemplary service activities with Probus Recognition awards and non-Probus members with Probus Excellence Award to encourage them to do more service in the future.
5. Celebration of International Women’s Day and International Day of Older Persons on which day these awards will be presented.
In addition to the above, the club promotes the talents of the members by conducting several cultural activities. Writing talent is one of the most important among them.
To enhance writing talents, the club publishes books on the lives of the elderly on every International Day of the Elderly, which contain articles written by senior citizens, mostly members, on various issues, especially those related to the elderly.
The club has published 25 books so far, with the latest book released on this year’s International Day of Older Persons on October 4, 2017, containing 87 articles contributed by members who are constant examples of joyful and healthy living. Although it is not possible to enumerate all the members, the notes of members who have written on the health of senior members, together with a brief account of their articles, are given below:
Prof. Dr. V. Balambal is a retired principal of a women’s college of repute, ex = president of Rotary Club, who has traveled to several countries, informs that cancer, reproductive health, HIV, violence against women, dementia, osteoporosis, heart diseases, diabetes are vital issues for women’s health. However, there has been a significant improvement in medical services. Although medical services have improved a lot, ignorance plays a very important role in the healthy lives of poor elderly women.
The former Rotary/Probus president further suggests the following steps for a better life for poor elderly women:
* It is important to plan for old age
** One must be active and have free movement.
(suggestions from other members are given in the following paragraphs)
Ms. Lakshmi Natarajan is an active academic and continues her educational activities as a freelancer after retirement.
1. Choose a new hobby or a long neglected one.
2. Play with your grandchildren, family children and pets.
3. Learn something new like music, a foreign language, a game, thus making new friends.
4. Attend some local events, preferably as a volunteer.
5. Teach familiar subjects, drama groups or a sports team.
6. Take weekend trips and travel a lot.
These six steps will keep a person young even though he may have grown in chronological age.
Mr. RTNamasivayam, a retired engineer and acting president of the club, has the following suggestions to make.
1. A man may keep a permanent cook and a helper with him in the house. As a precaution, he should maintain the police records of the servants and should also have a good relationship with the local authorities. Online services must be used effectively.
2. one can also choose nursing homes as another option to live in a community of senior citizens. They have to contact the local officials to get Aadhar cards, ration cards etc. with an ease that cannot be obtained through computer applications.
3. If the senior citizen is wealthy, he can own a villa or an apartment in a residential complex. Sufficient bank balance should be maintained to meet every need.
First of all, health should be taken care of and a senior citizen should be punctual for all health check-ups and regularly take follow-up medications, if any.
Shri S. Gopalakrishnan, a retired general manager of a nationalized bank, gives suggestions on investment opportunities. He has given a vivid description of investment opportunities exclusively meant for senior citizens which will be helpful for those who have pension funds with them for immediate investment in a sensible manner. Most of the time people get scammed by fake investment companies offering very high interest rates and then run away. For such people, these offers are very useful when depositing in government institutions with guaranteed returns.
In short, there are two types of people that God has created, 1. privileged people 2. under privileged people. It’s terrible to live in poverty at 70 and over. The poet Avvaiyar (who was also very old) centuries ago, “It is terrible to live in poverty, as in youth.” The same can be corrected “It is terrible to live in poverty, as well as in old age, where loneliness also torments them”.
It is the duty of the more privileged to help and protect the less privileged. Through this act, they will also benefit from complacency and peace of mind.
This is the path to “aging happily” as explained in various articles in this book.
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