The elderly population is rising globally and similar trends are being observed not only in Asia but also in Pakistan. A developing country facing several challenges in the form of political instability, lack of economic growth, low savings of the elderly, weak pension system, makes life challenging for the elderly. Pakistan’s demographic trends show that between 1990 till 2010, the population aged 60+ years increased by 75.1 %. It is projected that the life expectancy will increase to 72 years by 2023. WHO report (1998) projected that 5.6 % of Pakistan’s population was over 60 years of age, with a probability of doubling to 11 % by the year 2025. Pakistan is a socially cohesive society and elders are valued and respected. It is normally considered to be the responsibility of the eldest son to take care of their parents. In spite of a socially cohesive society in Pakistan, in some segments, norms have been changing and recently, one can notice a clear turn down of the extended family system. Children leave their parents and there is no one who could look after their needs. Consequently, the abandoned parents land up in old homes. With meager resources and a poor understanding of aging; Pakistan faces many challenges in caring as well as provision of facilities for its elderly population. This present report highlights the comparison between the quality of facilities that are provided to older people in home and private or government institutes. Future possibilities for improvement of facilities for the good health and wellbeing of our elderly are also discussed.
Introduction of gerontology
Gerontology is an introduction to the field of human aging. Gerontology is multidisciplinary in nature as all aspects of human aging are viewed in this subject. This means that the study of aging combines information from several separate areas of study. Biology, sociology, and psychology are the "core" or basic areas, along with content from many other areas of study such as public policy, humanities, and economics. Gerontology includes the study of physical, mental, and social changes in older people as they age, the investigation of the changes in society resulting from our aging population as well as the application of this knowledge to policies and programs for the assurance of better quality of life for older people in the community, the state and the nation. Taking care of our elders is an Islamic obligation and also an integral cultural norm in Pakistan. Despite being a socially cohesive society; the decline of extended family systems is evident. This has affected the respected status of the elderly enjoyed in their later years. As nuclear family system is increasing in urban areas, they are unable to take charge of the elderly due to many socio-economic and cultural constraints. So they have begun to seek assistance from formal institutions engaged in elderly care. Importance of gerontology:
Gerontology is very important as people working in aging report great satisfaction in addressing the challenges of those who are growing older, helping to maintain the quality of their lives, and enjoying the wit, wisdom, and creativity of the older persons with whom they come in contact. Even as a student you can make a difference; your community can benefit from volunteer work you do with older persons. Later, as a professional in the field, you can continue to serve the community as a volunteer, for example, by speaking about various aspects of aging to civic and community groups or teaching in pre-retirement programs. Working in the field of aging provides an opportunity to influence positively the agencies and organizations serving older persons and the legislation and policies that affect their lives. Studying aging also gives you a perspective on your own aging and insight into the aging of your family members.
Review of literature
The older population has been growing at an...
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