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Elderly Sector: Not a Liability, but a Solution

Updated on September 3, 2013

Wrong Notions

There are many wrong notions about the elderly sector. It is being revealed on “Aging-Exploding the Myths,”a publication of the World Health Organization’s Aging and Health Program. It is about the false views about the sector that our parents are mostly members of it.

My mother is already past her 70 mark in this world, but still an active president of the senior citizen organization at my place.

My father reached 60 but succumbed to lung disease due to his smoking abuse.

Recently, most of the younger barangay officers in our barrio ignored my mother’s plea to release the 1% budget for the elderly from our barangay’s IRA (internal revenue allotment). It nearly drove me to confront them but with my mother’s request, I decided not to verbally accuse them of non-respect and neglect among the elderly sector of our community.

My mother as a mango seller during Summer of 2013

Photo by Ireno Alcala (aka travel_man1971)
Photo by Ireno Alcala (aka travel_man1971)

The Overlooked Ones

Most people overlooked the fact that these seniors were once productive citizens of the country or still are. Although, they are already retired from their regular jobs as engineers, teachers, soldiers and the like, they can still enjoy being advisers to business firms if they want to. But most business owners prefer the younger ones for fear that they cannot fully function on their jobs.

Reasons being associated with the elderly sectors are degenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s,), memory loss that can hamper them to function normally.

At the Philippine setting, most of the elderly live with their married son or daughter and take care of their children while they’re working in the office.

Knowing the Relevance of Old Age in Society-Building

So, to further enhance our advocacy that the seniors are not liabilities but solutions to problems, even in domestic scale, here are some of the comparison that are based from a worldwide study regarding the importance of elderly sector in the society.

Wrong notion: Most elderly lives in industrialized countries.

Truth: More than 60% of hundred millions of elderly are living in developing countries. The increasing numbers of seniors in these countries are ageing due to more health maintenance, improved sanitation, housing program and nutrition.

Wrong Notion: Elderly will not be able to help.

Truth: Elderly contributes highly in the society since they can help without being paid. For example, in the USA millions of children were taken care of by their grandparents. More often than not, the seniors are providing for homes, food and education for their grandchildren while their parents enjoy working away from home. Even here in the Philippines, most seniors are still hands-on when taking care of their grandchildren an even provides financial help from their SSS or GSIS pensions. More so, in many industrialized countries, many organizations will be crippled if there will be no help coming from the seniors. They are muchly needed in care giving centers as volunteers. In many developing countries, more than 30 percent of adult parents got inflicted with AIDS, so their parents took care of them and after their death, seniors will take care of their grandchildren.

Wrong Notion: Seniors stop working because they cannot function well.

Truth: They went out of work due to insufficient knowledge or because of ageism.

Wrong Notion: Seniors don’t want to work anymore.

Truth: More often than not, elderly are not accepted even their drive for work is overwhelming. Especially in times of trimming down, the young sector is mostly favored to fill-in at the vacated positions of the seniors. Although the vacant position will not necessarily mean to be filled up by young professionals, since they don’t have the qualifications to match the seniors.

Those are some of the observations that were recorded by WHO (World Health Organization), people around the world should understand that most of the seniors are the vanishing experts in this planet. As stated by Alexander Kalache of the Ageing and Health Programme of WHO, nations should consider the elderly sector as their solution to their problems.

Elderly Watch: What we should know about Aging


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @grand old lady: I speak in behalf of my mother, who resists to be bedridden and continue to serve as barangay health worker and buy-and-sell businesswoman during school days and summer, too.

      Thank you for the hub-visit. :)

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank God someone is speaking up for the older generation. Voted up!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Alicia C: Thanks for noticing this hub, with such a special status like you. I can't get over with the fact that most elderly are taken for granted in the society, especially those who are less fortunate and uneducated. I hope all nations and its governments should take care, really take good care of our elders. They have stories to tell and experiences to impart that can help each community to attain progress.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for creating this hub. The way in which some seniors are treated is very sad. It's great that you've publicized the situation.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Lastheart: Thanks, Ma'am. I already told her about what you've said about her.

      Much respect with your advocacy, too, I hope will always be connected through our hubs or maybe in some other worthwhile endeavor.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @earthbound1974: I'm glad you've taken a moment to drop by. Yes, respect for elders is what we need in today's world setting. Most teens are not respecting their parents anymore.

      I've watched the news of a teacher being bullied by her student (As of Sept. 9, 2013) and it's a scary thing to let them go unpunished.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Beautiful hub! Give your mom a big hug in my name and tell her that those mangoes are the best I have seen. Tell her also that I admire her and I will be like her. To you I will say that this article will be shared in all my places, hoping many, many, many will get the message.

    • earthbound1974 profile image

      earthbound1974 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Elders are always taken for granted bu new generation. Parents should never be neglected by the society. They were once, like us (youth), too.

      I'm glad you published this heartwarming hub.

      Thanks for sharing!