For many elderly people the latter part of their lives is not a time to relax and enjoy retirement, but rather a difficult and unhappy period, owing to financial worries, failing health and loneliness. As life expectancy increases, the average person lives well beyond the age of retirement. As a result, the elderly make up an ever-increasing percentage of society, which makes it more important than ever for a real effort to be made in improving the lives of senior citizens.
One way to deal with the situation would be to ensure that the elderly have enough money on which to live. Obviously, when a person stops working, they still require a source of income to cover their basic needs such as food, accommodation and heating. A clear solution to the problem is for the
government to make sure that the state pension is adequate for these needs. Furthermore, free financial advice should be made available to retired people so that the stress of worrying about money could be reduced as much as possible.
Steps should also be taken to overcome problems the elderly face as a result of deteriorating heath due to old age, and inadequate health-care provisions. Again, the responsibility should fall to the government to provide access to the best health care available, which may necessitate paying for residential homes where the elderly can have round-the-clock nursing, or, at the very least, providing medication free of charge to all people over a certain age. As a result, old people would enjoy not only better health, but also peace of mind from the knowledge that they need not fear falling ill and being unable to pay for the treatment.
The lives of old people could also be improved if attempts were made to address the problem of social isolation which so many of them face. If we organised trips for the elderly to community centres, visits from social workers or free bus passes to allow pensioners greater mobility, the effect would be to alleviate the problem of loneliness which marks the lives of so many old people living alone and far from their families.
One final suggestion, which would help enormously, is to change the attitude of the community towards its older members, who are all too often seen as a burden on society and dismissed as having little to do with modern life. We need to be taught from an early age to respect the views of old people, and appreciate their broader experience of life. This would help society as a whole, and encourage appreciation of the role that old people can still play today.
To sum up, there are several measures which could be taken to improve the lives of old people. If the government and individuals alike were to help, it would make retirement and old age a time to look forward to, rather than dread.
What could be done to improve the lives of the elderly? written by Cristina Nuta for FamousWhy.com
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