world's population is ageing rapidly. Before 2050, the proportion of the people
aged 60 or above is expected to double from about 11% to 22% - an estimated
increase from 605 million to 2 billion.
Older people are
vulnerable to illnesses especially mental or neurological
. About 6.6% of all disabilities among them are attributed to
neurological and mental disorders. According to the World Health Organization,
about 47.5 million older people have dementia and 15% above 65 years suffer
Society often treats older
generation as financial and social burden. To create awareness that older
people must be remembered and treated with kindness and respect, the 'To Care
Foundation', a South African NGO, organizes a national level campaign called
'Go Turquoise for the Elderly.' The one-month-long campaign starts on May 15
(International Family Day) and it will continue till June 15 (World Elderly
Abuse Awareness Day).
As part of the awareness
campaign, volunteers will decorate the towns and cities in turquoise color. The
initiative aims to create awareness about the elderly, especially those not
accommodated by institutions for the elderly. It also helps raise funds for
organizations for the aged.
"South Africa has over
2.75 million older adults. Among them, 1 million are already over the age of
75. This generation in our country is often seen as soft targets for crime,
abuse and neglect. The situation has to be changed. The campaign aims to
demonstrate how individuals, families and organizations can make the world a
better place for the elderly," the NGO wrote in its official web page.
During the campaign, free
medical check-ups including blood tests for elderly are organized across the
Seniors Should Surf the Internet
The campaign recommends
senior people to learn computer and Internet. They cite a recent study by
Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies, which
shows that the Internet helps elders stay connected with family and friends,
reducing loneliness and depression
The campaign recommends
younger members of the family to teach their grandpa or grandma how to use the
Internet and computer.
relationships with friends and family at a time in life when mobility becomes
increasingly limited is challenging for the elderly. Increased Internet access
and use by senior citizens enables them to connect with sources of social
support when face-to-face interaction becomes more difficult," said Dr. Sherry, study co-author and associate professor of
Communications Studies at University of Montevallo in Alabama.
Dance Dementia and Alzheimer's Away
A study conducted by Arts
for Health Cornwall and Isles of Scilly recommends dance for elders to improve
mental health. According to the study, older people who take part in regular
dance classes show a reduced incidence of dementia.
concentration on steps and moves. It helped elders keep their mind active and
alert. Many people in the older generation grew up in the time of the big bands
and music hall dances. Reliving those days through music and dance makes them
feel mentally young again. Dance is so versatile that you can do it standing,
seated and even in a wheelchair," says Rosie Allen-Perdikeas, a dance artist
who specializes in bringing dance to older people both in and out of care
settings and within the Mental Health