Friday, November 20, 2009

A CAUSE FOR CONCERN - THE POPULATION TRENDS

Right now I see four family relatives on their respective beds at home. They are the elderly, down with lingering illness and indicating slowness or more exacting a no quick solution to recovery. This is a case close at hand. Others in the peripherals must be more adding to the current unseen or unconcerned situations among us. I am sure each one of us would have elderly relatives or neighbors convalescing at home by virtue of their age group over all sorts of illness. The huge question is "who take care of them or more clinically who 'nurse' them? Your answer will be as good as mine. Excepting for the wives or the husbands, if they are still strong and able, the patients would be hard pressed to find comforting 'nurse' maids.

I am no younger too having reached the age group that is accorded the elderly sector. A casual glance at yesterday's STAR newspaper entitled "Demand for Senior Housing on the Rise" prompted this article. It is noted that there is a change in the demographic area of the world's population. From the 'historical high birth rates and high death rates' there is now a corresponding new trend according to the UN Department of Economics and Social Affairs: One out of 10 people is now above 60 years old or older. Continuing trends would mean that by 2050 1 out of 5 will be above 60 or older. By 2150 the figure would read 1 out of 3. The eldest old would mean a rapid expanding segment of the elderly population.

Many of us would be in that sector even now. The question is "how could we cope with the situation?' or " Are we able to face the possibilities of 'ageing in place' without the full amenities such as proper meals, hospital, nursing homes and on site care? Could the 'elderly' survived in their current homes devoid of their grown up sons and daughter plus in-laws too who are no more neighbor friendly now but staying 100 kilometers or more from their former homes? Works or choice of jobs placed them away from their kampong. Not surprisingly, many are working even overseas, therefore several flight hours away. Therefore the comforts of filial piety, as traditionally expected by the elders have become a dream rather than expected norms. Close to it maybe the annual 'balik kampong'.

Is our government ready or realizing the current development? Is our "Yang Berhormat" in keeping with these needs that has seen other developed countries marching forward to address the pertinent issues?

Look carefully around you. Observe the sick and the elderly at the hospitals and the treatment they are receiving. There are many private hospitals too but how many can afford a RM300.00 bed a day plus medical expanse that easily multiply to thousand ringgit quite hurriedly? The needy, the elderly in most cases would not be able to meet such demand. It is sad that that the situation has been allowed to exist without check. Without medical attention unless you can afford to pay, where could the elderly ills go? No other, than their own homes and lingering as I have seen with only the sympathy of neighbors, friends and relatives.

Malaysia being a multiracial country has to look at the problem with full concerned of the community, religious bodies plus all the relevant ministries. Going for housing specific to realizing the needs of the elders of Malays, Chinese, Tamils etc need concerted efforts from developers as well. Elderly age homes or community living with the comforts for the elders have to be planned in accordance to each community needs.

Hoping this awareness strikes home. May we look forward to special housing for the elders.So too greater medical care and services greatly desired from a 'prehatin' or caring government.Another pressing question would be "Which one now 'child care' or 'elder care'? realizing the trend in population development.

4 comments:

Uncle Lee said...

Hello KotaStar, I now belong to the ha ha, 'Senior Citizen's club....Canada's retirement age is 65....then dapat pension, ta'chukup dapat supplimentary.
Exclude work pension.

Yes, I fully agree with you re the statistics of the elderly....I have lost touch with Malaysia so cannot comment anything....
but minta ma'af... but allow me to say something about ours here....
Canada is very concerned and caring for the elderly.
As well there are Senior citizen homes, some subsidised by government.

For those invalids, the government provide motorised wheel chairs, FOC, and every mall, bus stop, kedai MUST have wheel chair access.
(Front of bus there's a bicycle rack, people can hang their bicycles, go downtown, go cycling there).

Even the buses can lower their entrance steps for wheelchair access, so the elderly can go to stores by food or go galavanting....the motorise wheelchairs can go about 20 or more KM on a charge of their battery. Some call it their BMW's, and nice red colours or your choice.
Should see sometimes two 75 above old guys racing each other, ha ha....

Then again, there are special mini buses to come to individual homes to take those in motorise wheelchairs go to town.

And if the elderly has nobody to look after him or her, a Caregiver will come, bathe, wash person, feed, give medicine...all highly qualified caregivers.
Lots from Philippines and other Asian countries.
They have to attend a course in college, get certified, qualified...learn about first aid, etc.

And medicine is free, medical checks, hospital too.
A matured friend of mine, 65, just masuk hospital yesterday, suspected kidney stone, may have to be operated, all free, and first class treatment.

This was one of the reasons that made me move here, as I don't think my kids will be bothered with this 'old man' bila da pakai dentures, cannot walk, mata pun da gelap, ha ha ha.

You stay easy and keep well, KotaStar....hey, you're still young. Watch your speed limit though, ha ha. Lee.

KotaStar said...

Thanks a thousand Lee. You have made my day by relating the good/splendid facilities provided in Canada. I was harping on the topic looking at current situation at home where sadly we are missing almost all the things you mentioned.I think even Australia is not yet able to provide what Canada gives.I will be thankful if you could point to articles/ references re some of the topics you mentioned or pictures, so that I can begin to make a dossier of the subject and then forward to the relevant people.Of course the best would be to visit or observe these facilities at close hand. I like the racks on the buses,the motorised BMW and the caregivers. be glad to get further info regarding them. kalau ada photo thanks a million.

I do hope friends who read this article will start realising what we are missing and therefore what we should start to request or demand.

You must consider yrself very fortunate having those at yr disposal and as you mentioned it's hard to hope from the children. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN LIVES TO CARE OF and time is a jealous factor.

Thanks partner for your contribution to a delicate but necessary issue now.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi KotaStar, As my info da old cherita, maybe you can check out via Google, 'Canada health care'...Caregivers' and whatever you need to know.
As well those motorised wheelchairs.

We have 4 people here having them, two ladies...never asked them why, none of my business, but they got them free....and every few days get the special mini bus for invalids take them to town.

Incidentally, we had KL friend and family migrated here 3 months ago, she now receiving about $200 per child (she has 2) or Rgt 625 every month from the government. And was surprised schooling, books free till high school.

Re the elderly and if living alone....orang putehs here don't have their old parents live with them, unlike the Asians...anyway, there are lots of volunteer groups here bring food to them, called 'meals on wheels'.

Canada has been voted by UN 6 times as the best country in the World to live....Australia, England not even near, ha ha. US too. In US if sakit no insurance, habis cherita.

What I like here is the free medical, operations, hospitalisation. A friend of mine has cancer and under treatment, all FOC.
Another friend had an a double bypass, foc.

But have two friends in KL...they lost their savings when both had bypass operations.

Of course Malaysia pun ada its good benefits, though I have lost touch....but as mentioned before, sini Senior citizens are much better off.

Told my wife if saya jadi invalid, I get a red motorised wheelchair, get my mechanic tune it up, ha ha....and can go around admire SYT's, ha ha.

Must tell you this....only two months ago, a caregiver went to this senior citizen's home, he staying alone....to give him his obat and whatever.

She thought he watching TV early morning on the sofa, as TV was on....he had passed away watching TV. He was 80. Told her maybe he was watching, 'Sex in the City', ha ha, kena cardiac arrest. Lee.

kotastar said...

Lee. Thanks. Yes I got hold of several topics from the internet re Canada and the topic in concerned and they proved interesting and informative. The 'Caregivers' also showed a large group from the Phillippines wanting to work in Canada. All with 'qualifications' Here we are hiring Indonesian/ Filipino house maids and there these people have prepared themselves to fill the job market in Canada. You have actually thrown a strong info on the subject. THANKS. Take care esp with the icy road.