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Addressing the Challenges of Small-Town Elderly Care

Aging is a beautiful celebration of life, and for many years, India has witnessed a significant demographic shift among its elderly. Growing population and improved life expectancy have led to a rise in the number of elderly individuals in the country. More than 70% of these elders reside in small towns and rural areas. 

The Indian society has so much to gain from this shift – this shift brings opportunities to enrich society with years of experience and wisdom.

However, the shift also brings multiple challenges: with so many elders living in small towns, their access to quality healthcare, mobility, companionship, and transport- need attention. 

As India undergoes transitions — it’s vital for us all and society to acknowledge the value of its elders based in small towns and prioritize their happiness, well-being, and dignity in their golden years, as aging with dignity & independence is very important.   

We can create a more inclusive world by addressing these challenges through innovative solutions, community engagement, and collaboration to improve the quality of life and access to care for elders living in small towns. 

3 Key Challenges Seniors Face In Small Towns:

Access to Healthcare: 

Our elders grapple with a significant challenge: their declining physical and mental health. As seniors age, they become vulnerable to several health concerns ranging from cognitive impairment, chronic illnesses, falls, surgeries, and recovery and myriad other issues. 

Among numerous health issues, they sometimes have to deal with reduced mobility that hinders their activities and limits their everyday movement around the house.

Access to immunization, screening, and prevention of diseases fills the gap in timely diagnosis and assists in upholding their overall well-being and allowing them to lead independent lives.   

Financial Worries: 

Seniors often worry about outliving their savings. 

The big concern for seniors is about managing their wealth– it manifests in several ways, depending on how well-off the senior is. Firstly, they worry their savings may not be enough to sustain them throughout their lives; the fluctuations in the cost of living may disrupt their plans and rankle seniors. 

The second part for some stems from the worry of how to pass their wealth to their children, especially when a part of the wealth involves real estate. 

We at Samarth have seen seniors in small towns agonizing about these worries, and addressing them is crucial to living.

An open, empathetic channel of communication helps calm the worries of seniors. 

Social Isolation and Loneliness: 

Social challenges faced by the elderly in India are pervasive issues demoralizing the elders in small towns. As family structures change, the youth often migrate to urban areas in India or overseas for opportunities — as a result, more and more seniors find themselves alone in their homes in small towns. 

With loneliness, seniors experience a sense of disconnection that stems from minimal social interaction; seniors in small towns, away from their children, feel depressed and experience a reduced quality of life. In some cases, a senior is all alone due to their spouse’s death. It’s imperative to address both physical and mental health issues in seniors so they can thrive and feel motivated. 

The answers lie in engaging caregiver support programs that help seniors access medical facilities. Caregivers also provide education, support, and resources to elderly individuals to address social isolation and ensure seniors receive the care and assistance they need.

How Samarth Can Help? 

Since 2016, Samarth has been working with the elderly community in India and leading the way in building a sustainable eldercare ecosystem. Samarth works with 10 million elders spread across 100 Indian cities, engaging a community of nearly 30,000 elders- with their children based across 33 countries globally. 

Samarth’s caregivers hold PhDs and graduate degrees, are warm, empathetic, and compassionate, and enjoy working with and engaging seniors. 

Samarth’s mission is to infuse positivity and confidence in our elders through a curated community that encourages active engagement tailored to their everyday needs and access to family-quality support and care at home for those who live alone.

Samarth caregivers receive training to enable the elderly to lead a life with dignity and confidence and ensure complete peace of mind for their children.

It’s possible to foster a world that respects and values its elders. We can collaboratively strive for a more compassionate and inclusive society by enabling them to be independent through compassionate care – so every senior ages gracefully and maintains dignity. 

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