Joyful Ageing: A Publication of Probus Club of Chennai, a Book on Healthy Living by Senior Citizens

Gone are the days when the elderly were considered a burden to the family and society. Now they are called senior citizens who provide valuable guidance to the community. They form their own groups, clubs, and other social service organizations to provide service to the community. One such club is the Props Club in Chennai sponsored by the Rotary Club of Chennai. The club has nearly 500 senior professionals and businessmen as its members. They organize regular meetings and have useful discussions about problems and solutions related not only to the elderly but also to the community.

Some of the services they provide to the community are:

1. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding poor students.

2. Establishing various health camps.

3. Visiting nursing homes to make the less fortunate elderly who live in them happy.

4. Recognize Probus Club members with exemplary service activities with Probus Recognition Awards and non-Probus Excellence Award members to encourage them to provide more services in the future.

5. Celebrating International Women’s Day and International Day for the Elderly, where these awards are distributed.

In addition to the above, the club encourages the talents of its members by holding many cultural activities. Writing talents are among the most important among them.

To improve writing talents, the club issues books about senior living on every International Senior Citizen’s Day, which contain articles written by senior citizens, most of whom are members, on various issues, especially those related to the elderly.
The club has so far published 25 books, and the last book was published on this year’s International Day of Older Persons on October 4, 2017, and contains 87 articles contributed by members, who are consistent examples of a happy and healthy life. While it is not possible to give a tally of all the members’ comments about the members who have written about the health of the senior members along with a brief report on their articles are given below:

Professor F. Palmbal is retired Director of a reputable Women’s College, and former President of the Rotary Club who has traveled to many countries reporting that cancer, reproductive health, HIV, violence against women, dementia, osteoporosis, heart disease, and diabetes are issues vital to women’s health. However, there is a marked improvement in the medical services. Although medical services have improved greatly, ignorance plays a very important role in the healthy life of poor old women.

The former President of Rotary/Probus also suggests the following steps for a better life for poor old women:

* It is important to plan for aging

** One must keep active and enjoy freedom of movement.
(Suggestions from other members are given in the following paragraphs)

Mrs. Lakshmi Natarajan is an active academic and continues her teaching activities as a freelancer after retirement.

1. Choose a new hobby or a hobby that has been neglected for a long time.

2. Play with your grandchildren, family children and pets.

3. Learn something new like music, foreign language, game and thus also make new friends.

4. Attend some local events, preferably as a volunteer.

5. Teaching subjects you know, drama teams or sports team.

6. Take weekend trips and travel a lot.

These six steps will keep one young even though he may be getting older in chronological age.

Mr. RTNamasivayam, Retired Engineer and current President of the Club makes the following suggestions.

1. One may keep a permanent cook and assistant with him at home. As a precaution, he must keep records of the servant police and also must have good contact with the local officials. Online services must be used effectively.

2. One can also choose nursing homes as another opportunity to live in a community of senior citizens. They have to contact local officials to get Aadhar cards, ration cards etc. easily which cannot be obtained through computer applications.

3. If the elderly person is wealthy, he can own a villa or apartment in a residential complex. Sufficient bank balance must be maintained to meet any requirements.

Above all, health must be taken care of and the elderly person must be punctual in all medical examinations and regularly follow up on medications, if any.

Shri S Gopalakrishnan, retired general manager of a nationalized bank offers suggestions on investment options. It has provided a live account of investment options which are exclusively for seniors which will be useful for those who have retirement funds with them for instant investments in a prudent manner. Most of the time, people get scammed by fake investment companies offering very high interest rates and then they run away. For such people, these suggestions are very useful for depositing with government institutions with guaranteed returns.

In short, there are two types of people created by God, 1. The Outstanding Persons 2. Under the Outstanding Persons. It’s awful to live in poverty, that too at 70 and over. The poet Avvaiyar (who was also very old) said centuries ago, “It is a terrible thing to live in poverty, even in youth”. The same can be corrected “It is a terrible thing to live in poverty, and this also in old age, when solitude also torments them.”

It is the duty of the most privileged to help and protect the less fortunate. By this act, they will also derive the benefit of self-satisfaction and peace of mind.

This is the method of “happy aging” as explained in various articles in this book.

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