This City of Gentle People is published as one of the most desirable locations for retirement, and we have actually noted that there are many seniors, both local and foreign, who have since selected Dumaguete as their home.
As life expectancy increases, the senior citizen population rises, thus, more attention should be given on this inevitable development. Does the Dumaguete City government have data on the status of seniors here? How many are active? How many are bedridden or home-bound? How many are living alone? How many are living in muti-generational households? Are there cases of neglect, maltreatment, or abuse of seniors? Who will be alone this Christmas?
As the link of the past, present, and the future, our seniors have experienced the past and the pace of progress throughout their lives, which places them in a better position to evaluate the present, and predict about the future. Senior citizens are the treasure of our society, as they know better from experience about the religion, family history, family values, and related customary practices in society, which they pass to the upcoming generations.
Recently, the officers of the different associations of senior citizens in all 30 barangays gathered for a general assembly of the Federation of Senior Citizens Associations of the Philippines (FSCAP), composed of leaders representing thousands of senior citizens in Dumaguete City, headed by its president George Villamor, to assure them of the local government’s continued and sustained support to protect their rights and interests.
What can be done to help our senior citizens? Most senior citizens may be actively ageing, but they continue to truly offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to society, and they can still positively contribute to the care and development of a more fulfilling Senior Life.
The senior community should be provided with platforms to share their passion with others even after their retirement, as they can continue to be highly-skilled and proficient, able to contribute their world of knowledge and experience from various industries such as Health Care, Public Works, Farming, Legal System, Information Technology, Business Entrepreneurship, Literature, Carpentry/Masonry, Education, Fishing, Arts and Crafts.
Active ageing can be enhanced by encouraging our seniors to be actively involved in various programs such as walking/exercise groups, tai chi or line dancing, which can also help provide a good base of social support, build positive attitude towards ageing and maintaining self-esteem, and help them stay as healthy and functional as possible.
After having to leave their years and years of working life, seniors can now be encouraged to develop talents in the community, like painting, cake decorating, poetry writing, playing a musical instrument, or get serious about a particular advocacy like the environment.
For those living at home, the City should provide a one-stop healthcare, home visits by nurses to assist in monitoring their medications, or home visits by medical interns, rehabilitative specialists, social services, even transportation logistics so our seniors are able to get to the hospital unhampered, when needed.
Have you noticed the attitude and behavior of our youth towards our seniors in recent years? Have you wondered whether our youth continue to honor the basic Filipino tradition of Respect for Elders?
There is a nagging fear about how the Internet has eroded the practice of our Filipino values, putting the future of our dear seniors in peril. Here’s hoping that our local government can take the cudgels for the ageing in our society, so they live their senior lives joyfully and contentedly.
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