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Agony of elderly people despite strict policies in place

Published : Tuesday, 16 April, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 406

Agony of elderly people despite strict policies in place

Agony of elderly people despite strict policies in place

Recent years have seen a substantial demographic transition in Bangladesh, which includes an increase in the elderly population. The current changing demographic requires a more thorough analysis of governmental initiatives intended to assist the elderly, such as provisions for the utilization of long-term care facilities. The objective of this article is to evaluate the efficacy of existing governmental policies in addressing the care requirements of the elderly population. Additionally, it will examine pertinent legislation and provisions that pertain to geriatric care and the utilization of old age homes.

As is the case in numerous other developing nations, Bangladesh encounters difficulties in ensuring that its elderly population receives sufficient treatment. Traditional family-based care for the elderly is declining in prevalence due to shifting family structures and urbanization trends. As a result, an increasing number of geriatric individuals are dependent on institutional care, including senior living facilities.The elderly population, comprising 60 percent and older, is projected to increase substantially in the future decades, per the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. An urgent requirement for all-encompassing policies to safeguard the welfare and attention of the elderly arises in tandem with this demographic shift.

The significance of attending to the requirements of the elderly populace has been acknowledged by the Government of Bangladesh through various kinds of policies and initiatives. An example of such a policy is the 2013 National Policy on Older Persons. By addressing their social, economic, and healthcare requirements, this policy seeks to safeguard the integrity and safety of the elderly in Bangladesh. In addition, the Department of Social Services, which supervises the implementation of programs and services for the elderly, including assisted living facilities, was established by the government.

Bangladesh has enacted numerous laws and sections to protect the rights and welfare of the elderly. One especially important legislation is the Maintenance of Parents Act of 2013. Adult offspring are obligated to give financial assistance to their elderly parents who are incapable of supporting themselves, as per the provisions of this legislation. Noncompliance with this legislation may lead to legal consequences.

Moreover, the Social Welfare Act of 2018 establishes a comprehensive legal structure to safeguard and assist marginalized populations, such as the elderly. The acts Section 17 pertains specifically to the regulation and establishment of residential care facilities for the elderly, delineating criteria for lodging, medical treatment, and general welfare.

In addition, provisions safeguarding elderly individuals from maltreatment and neglect are stipulated in the Penal Code of Bangladesh. Voluntarily inflicting harm is a punishable offense under Section 323, which includes physical maltreatment of the elderly. Section 498A, which pertains to the offense of maltreatment towards a married woman, may also be relevant in situations involving elder abuse occurring within the familial unit.

In addition, provisions safeguarding elderly individuals from maltreatment and neglect are stipulated in the Penal Code of Bangladesh. Voluntarily inflicting harm is a punishable offense under Section 323, which includes physical maltreatment of the elderly. Section 498A, which pertains to the offense of maltreatment towards a married woman, may also be relevant in situations involving elder abuse occurring within the familial unit.

Despite these policies, Bangladesh encounters many challenges in its endeavor to properly address the issues of elderly care and utilization of old age homes. The elderly populations lack of awareness and access to extant services is a significant problem, especially in rural regions. Many seniors continue to be unsure of their rights and the available assistance.

In addition, trained personnel and specialized facilities are in limited supply to accommodate the varied requirements of the elderly, including those with chronic illnesses or disabilities. The scarcity further intensifies the dependence on conventional family-oriented caregiving, which may prove impracticable or insufficient, particularly in light of evolving societal frameworks.

In order improve elderly care and elderly facility utilization in Bangladesh, the following suggestions may be taken into account:

Awareness Campaigns: To educate the elderly population about their rights, available services, and the significance of planning for long-term care, the government should initiate comprehensive awareness campaigns.

Capacity Building: Allocate resources towards training initiatives targeting healthcare professionals and parents, with a particular emphasis on geriatric care, with the aim of enhancing the standard of care delivered to the elderly.

Regulation Strengthening: Conduct a comprehensive evaluation and reinforcement of the current regulatory framework related to long-term care facilities in order to ensure adherence to international standards and optimal methodologies. This may encompass routine inspections and enforcement mechanisms aimed at safeguarding the dignity and rights of inhabitants.

Campaign for Community-Based Initiatives: Foster community-based care initiatives that enable neighboring communities to provide guidance to senior citizens via volunteerism, social networks, and mutually beneficial support.

The implementation of governmental policies is of the highest priority in Bangladesh as it directly impacts the geriatric population and facilitates the utilization of old age homes. Although current policies and legislation establish a structure for safeguarding the rights of the elderly, significant challenges and defects exist that must be rectified. In order to safeguard the welfare of the elderly in Bangladesh, it is imperative to undertake critical measures such as enhancing enforcement mechanisms for existing laws, increasing public awareness regarding the significance of institutional care, and improving infrastructure and resources for old age facilities.

The writer is a student of the Department of Law and Human Rights at the University of Asia Pacific







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