Rights for the Aged: Need of the Hour

Topics: Old age, Gerontology, Ageism Pages: 6 (2189 words) Published: June 15, 2013
Rights For The Aged - Need Of The Hour
* The Background
A massive change has taken place over the past several decades in the demographic area of human population : AGE. In the earlier times high birth rates were partnered by high death rates. Historically, the majority of people on the planet at one time have been aged somewhere in the middle of the then-current age range or have tended to be younger than the median age. However, due to the trend of lower birth rates and lower death rates, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, one out of every ten people on the planet is now 60 years of age or older. If the current trend of lowering birth rates and lowering death rates continues, by the year 2050 one out of five people will be aged 60 years or older and by 2150, one out of every three people will be aged 60 years or older. Additionally, the oldest old are the most rapidly expanding segment of the elderly population. Currently, the oldest old make up 11 percent of the 60+ age group and will grow to 19 percent by 2050.

* A Little Story
The other day Mrs. Khanna went to a general store in order to get some things for her house. Now before getting know what happened next, here is a little background check about Mrs. Khanna, who she is, what does she do and so on. Mrs. Khanna is a 70 year old woman, who lives by the lane in a busy Indian city. She lives alone because her husband died a few years back while battling a cardiac arrest. She has two sons who are settled abroad. Coming to the present now, Mrs. Khanna was waiting in the queue in the said store, for her turn to come at the billing counter. When after what seemed like more than an hour of waiting, she decided to call in the owner and put forth her disapproval of the kind of treatment she had received in the past hour. Apparently the sales people constantly ignored her and kept processing order bills that were placed by the customers who came in way after Mrs. Khanna did. Mrs. Khanna raised her voice because she suffered discrimination that caused wastage of her valuable time and also it cannot be ignored that the kind of treatment she received was annoying and unnecessary. Did she deserve this? What was her fault? While some might term it to be just a usual thing that happens, looking at it from the victim's point of view is a whole new story to talk about. * Is It Really LITTLE?

This was just one small incident that took place in some city. But there are thousands of such instances when the aged are subjected to ill treatment at various places. Be it the workplace, or a hospital or a bank or simply at home. While some like Mrs. Khanna raise their voices against it, others turn out to be not so fortunate to be able to do so. Violation of the basic rights of aged human beings has become a common practice all across the world. And quite recently there has been an increase in the efforts being made in order to take up actions at the international level to combat this blatant violation of human rights for the aged.

* Age Discrimination & Ageism
Age Discrimination can be defined as "A person being treated differently, with an unreasonable or disproportionate impact, simply because of his or her age". This discrimination can either be direct like upper age limits on credit or micro finance, that prohibits the elderly from accessing finance, or the discrimination is indirect like the non collection of data on HIV among people of the old age say above the age of 49 and hence excluding these people from the HIV AIDS prevention programmes.

Ageism is basically the stereotyping and prejudice against the old people and thus, discriminating them on the basis of age.

* Multiple Discrimination
A woman always is held and viewed in a subordinate position to man. So, when she ages, her status deteriorates to a greater degree. Woman are discriminated on the basis of not just age but also on the basis of...
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