The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), Chandigarh, inaugurated a three-month training programme for ‘Geriatric Care Providers’ at the YWCA Working Women’s Hostel Tuesday.
Secretary of the Chandigarh Social Welfare Board, Anil Kumar, inaugurated the programme, and apprised the audience of the condition of the senior citizens across India. “As of 2011, India had 90 million elderly people, which has only grown over the years and is expected to grow to 173 million by 2026. However, it is disheartening that of the 90 million seniors, 30 million are living alone, and about 90 per cent still have to work for a livelihood,” Singh said.
He added, “The state, society as well as families are responsible for the ill-treatment of the elderly. They ought not to be treated as a burden, instead we must take special efforts to ensure their physical and mental well-being. This training programme will be a positive step in that direction.”
Elaborating on the programme’s structure, national president of YWCA, Dr Shakuntala David, said the training would prepare a cadre of care-givers to provide quality care in various areas of disability pertaining to old age. “We have selected 25 people for the training, and now they will be sensitised about the physical, social, psychological and emotional needs of senior citizens. They will also be trained in home nursing and first aid.”
She added that the selected group would also be equipped with basic knowledge of Information Technology and would be provided with employment opportunities as well. For the programme, guest faculty members and geriatricians from the city-based hospitals and other related institutions will be invited. The training will be done at the YWCA hostel from 10 am to 3 pm every day.
Professor Renu Gandhi, Chairperson of the Department of Life Long Learning & Extension at Panjab University, who is also a member of the YWCA, said, “Throughout India, Chandigarh has the fourth highest number of elderly people, and this is mainly because of the increase in migration. After identifying this fact, YWCA planned for this training programme, which will also provide employment opportunities to the youth of the city.”
National general aecretary of YWCA, India Vinodhini Moses, and secretary of YWCA Hostel Project, Chandigarh, Preety Joseph, were also present at the function.