16 July 2012

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Posted in Arrangement, Art, Business

MORAL OBLIGATION TO CARE FOR NEGLECTED SENIOR CITIZENS

The rapid ageing of the world population* has brought about visible changes in the familial, social and economic spheres of human life. The changes have affected areas like the intergenerational equilibrium of population, long term care, gender ageing, and socio-economic condition of elderly. As people live longer, specially the old-old and oldest old, have longer dependent life too. The situation for the poor elderly and also of those who are living alone is more difficult because they have to depend on others for their security (economic, social) and health care. The advancing age brings along with it health concerns like frailty, morbidity and vulnerability to abuse, exploitation and neglect.

Vulnerability implies that the personal integrity of the elderly can be harmed or violated because he/she is too weak to protect him/her self. It is precisely because the elderly is vulnerable to harm or violation that we are required to work towards the protection of his integrity.  The principle of vulnerability poses before us a normative value. What is central to vulnerability of elderly is the loss of power due to economic and social insecurity, chronic illness or inability to get long term formal (directly from the government) or informal (from community or family) care. It is the fear that one is no more master of one’s own life. Every human being has a three fold urge, namely, to live, live well and live better.1