Should elderly people be neglected? Recently, a report has stated, to many people’s amazement, as many as 30% elderly people live below the poverty line in Hong Kong. An increasing number of the elderly in the territory have received social security assistance from the government. In the absence of adequate savings and regular income, little difficulty is there in understanding why the elderly more rely on the government. There are some difficulties that the elderly have to come to grips with. One major obstacle is the financial burden that elderly people have to cope with.
The elderly do not have regular income without working to maintain their rudimental needs of living, from food, clothing to dwelling. Moreover, after retirement, the protection is far from adequate, few elderly people are self-sufficient to take care themselves. The elderly who fail to care for themselves, as a result, have no choice but to cling to the government to receive assistance. Another principal barrier elderly people are facing, in addition to the financial burden, is poor family relationship.
Most family members neglect the elderly, rarely do they talk with them, understand what they are thinking, and take into account the feelings of the elderly. Elderly people feel alone, they are left at home without any care from their family members. In some serious cases, the elderly do not have enough money to buy food when they are hungry, due to the apathetic attitude of family members toward them. What the government, families and community groups need to do in pursuit of better care of the elderly, and how.
In the aspect of the government, it is of paramount importance to promote harmony family life, especially enhancing communication with the elderly. The government could encourage families holding family day or events with elderly, such as hiking, barbecue. On the other hand, the government should have some improvements of retirement protection, to ensure the elderly may rake care themselves after retirement, it is the first step to help elderly people to evacuate poverty. Family plays an important role on taking better care of the elderly.
Few families can get along well with the elderly. In hopes of understanding the elderly thought and caring them, family members, however busy, should take little time to talk with the elderly every day such as sharing happiness, some amusing moments in that day. Moreover, family members should simply go home to have dinner with the elderly. Sometimes, if cannot do home for dinner, they may leave a memo asking after the elderly, just few words are enough. Also, families need to give adequate money to elderly people for their daily life.
Community groups such as some non-government organizations also can pay efforts to improve taking care of elderly people. They can organize various types of family activities to encourage family members taking part in with the elderly. Apart from that, they can hold some distribution campaigns for the elderly, for instance, rice distribution, moon cake distribution and so on. To conclude, the elderly should not be separated from the society. The families have the responsibilities to take care them. The government and community groups also need to pay effort to help the elderly escape the poverty.