|August 23, 2016||Neha Bilandani|
Dignity Foundation, an NGO works for the cause of senior citizen in India. The NGO provides, among other services, Loneliness Mitigation Services and Ration supplies for indigent senior citizens. Dignity Helpline, Counselling, will making, alternative housing, dementia care – day care and residential – are key forms of assistance rendered.
Loneliness Mitigation Services to Elderly: A platform for regular social interaction and support network to lonely senior citizens, encouraging them to lead an active life. Life after retirement can be quite lonely as a person no longer has an active social circle. There is no meaningful activity that one has every morning when one wakes up and there is a sense of loss of identity. All this leads to a deep sense of loneliness and loss of self-image. Even if some people are lucky to live with their children, they realize that everyone is busy with their own lives and have no time or inclination to talk to them. This loneliness leads to depression which in turns leads to many health problems. Real Case history: Darshana Dalal became a member of one such centre, seven years ago, after her husband’s demise. Very timid and shy, she remained a loner and inactive in the beginning. Though a great help backstage, she would be tongue-tied and trembled with fear in front of an audience. With much encouragement and coaxing, she slowly gathered courage and confidence. Soon her confidence built up and she is now a regular in the fashion shows, skits and stage shows organised in Chai Masti (another name for the Loneliness Mitigation centre) . This also helped her seek assistance from the police when a taxi driver tried to cheat her, unimaginable in her pre-Dignity days! She has won prizes in competitions at Dignity and this gives her great pride and helps her own self esteem. Darshana says: “Now I have the courage to say ‘NO’ if I don’t want to do something. The past five years have transformed me. My family feels the change. I am confident, I can lead and take responsibility, I can organise, and I feel I am living now. ‘I AM DARSHANA’, not someone’s wife, mother or daughter, taken for granted.
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