The elderly population has been struggling with insufficient care and support from society for generations. This is why the senior citizens are among the priorities when the United Nations (UN) launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2017. According to the list of goals, the top three are ending poverty, ending world hunger, and promoting good health and well-being. It’s clear that the elderly will greatly benefit from such goals.
So if you feel the need to do more for the elderly folks in your community, there are many options. You can launch a social enterprise by starting a home-care business franchise. Another option is starting a nonprofit organization for the elderly. Either way, you’ll do a world of good, just like these four advocates for the senior citizens.
The Circle Society
Sometimes, what helps the senior citizens the most is social support. It can be awfully sad to live alone, especially when they don’t have any family or friends around them. There really is nothing lonelier than having to live your life alone after your loved ones have passed on before you.
The good thing is that there are social enterprises like The Circle Society. Based in Ohio, U.S.A, their main mission is to bring together senior citizens, young adults, and dogs in need. The social enterprise developed a compound where the seniors could live more active lives among fellow seniors. Together with them are, of course, the youth and the dogs. By surrounding them with such lively beings, the elderly also become inspired to be lively as well.
LGBT Foundation’s Pride in Ageing
We all know sir Ian McKellen through the iconic characters that he played on screen. A re-watch of the Lord of the Rings film series isn’t complete without McKellen’s memorable portrayal of the great wizard, Gandalf. But McKellen’s work and impact are so much more than what he brought onscreen and onstage. He’s also quite prominent in the social sector by working with the LGBT Foundation, the biggest nonprofit organization in the United Kingdom that’s dedicated to the LGBT community.
In 2019, McKellen launched the initiative, Pride in Ageing. It’s a program that advocates for the senior members of the LGBT community. To be gay, bisexual, transexual, or others is already quite hard. But to be a senior one at that makes the issue ten times harder. But through Pride in Ageing, the senior LGBTs get to connect with people that are on the same boat as theirs.
We all know that technology today has been the elderly people’s strongest suit. After all, how many times have we helped our grandparents navigate an iPhone? How many times have we walked them through the process of making Zoom calls with us? We find this endearing. And it’s a great way for us to bond with our grandparents.
But SeniorNet sees this digital divide as a serious problem. And that is why their organization was launched. Based in California, U.S.A., they aim to bridge the digital divide between senior citizens and technology. They conduct workshops and seminars for them. Through these activities, they’re helping the seniors to stay connected with their loved ones, and to stay engaged with their communities.
We all understand that the needs and struggles of elderly people vary. They struggle with finances, loneliness, social support, and many others. Such needs vary, depending on their location, culture, home and community situations, etc. So it’s a good thing that there’s an organization such as HelpAge International that works with various elderly people around the world. Since its launch in 1983, HelpAge has been building a global network of organizations. Through this network, they’re able to directly work with many communities that have varying issues and needs.
Today, their impact has spread over 86 countries. From Africa to Asia, their work is advocated towards one goal. And that is to build a just, resilient, and sustainable world for older people. This, in turn, would help them feel safe, healthy, and dignified.
When the COVID-19 pandemic started and the lockdown restrictions were enforced by the authorities, the elderly were among the most vulnerable and most affected. They faced a myriad of challenges. One of them is the rising rates of domestic violence around the world. Add to that the issues of robberies, kidnapping, and other crimes. And, since the elderly are quite vulnerable to COVID-19, many of them have contracted the coronavirus and were left to suffer alone. Yes, we should blame the pandemic for causing such problems. But we also have to understand that these issues are not new.
So when we feel the need to do more for our struggling community, let’s consider prioritizing the senior citizens.