JCI Curepipe Health Campaign: Taking Care of our Elders

October 3, 2012

AGEING: Throughout his life, man is confronted to different events and situations affecting his health, for e.g. during infancy and early childhood, he is quite prone to pain, injuries or diseases. Similarly vulnerability exists at the other extreme, i.e. old age. The signs of ageing may be many and are often unnoticed as they manifest themselves gradually, for e.g. wrinkles, white hairs, a shrinking body, weakened muscles and bones, decreasing immunity, vision and hearing, slower mobility, while the memory may also be playing some unpleasant tricks. Physically and psychologically, old people are not the same as they used to be before. But it must be reminded that ageing is a completely natural process for all living beings.

Old people very often necessitate special care and attention from younger ones, especially when their health may not be in good shape or when the end of their journey may be nearing. They have toiled for years and years, founded families, and earned a living in difficult conditions or situations. Unfortunately, some of them may suffer from harsher emotional trauma, for instance when rejected by their own progeny as they do share the same lifestyles with the latter. This generation gap often forces the young and the old to be poles apart. However, ageing concerns everybody as the young is very slowly but surely turning older with time.

With tangible improvements in living standards and advances in Science & Technology, nowadays people are more able lead a longer life. Needless to mention that socio-economic initiatives like health policies, prevention campaigns or medical surveillance are also of a contributing nature towards the general increase in the average life expectancy of man in the world. Under such situations, the society is currently witnessing an increasingly ageing population on Earth. In other words, developmental changes signify that additional resources be sought to cater for those eventually reaching old age.

CONCERNS: Since the past 62 years, April 7th, is marked as an important day with regards to health issues, it is in fact observed as the World Health Day (WHD) commemorating the creation of the WHO. Apart from the latter day, some other specific days in a calendar year are ‘celebrated’ with similar intentions, for e.g. World Diabetes Day or World AIDS Day, observed to raise awareness on these specific diseases. It is noted that WHD focuses on a dedicated theme just like the other momentous days. Indeed, it sees the participation of different stakeholders engaged in various types of activities. In the same context of concerns, 3 out of the 8 UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) directly relate to health.

Despite being in the same contemporary world, most of us might not have noticed the breaking of an incredible record last year. To be more succinct, 2011 saw the world human population crossing the figure of 7 billion. Interestingly, the theme of this year’s WHD happens to focus on Ageing and Health, which suggests that a good health is required for our ageing populations. Moreover the motto devised under this theme namely “Good health adds years to life” is highly significant in its meaning. For instance, by adopting a healthy lifestyle consisting of a balanced diet, regular physical exercises, lack of stress, etc. one has more chances to lead a longer life.

The smiling lady – From our visit to the Ste Coeur de Marie Elderly Home

As part of its activities, the JCI Curepipe, a group of young active citizens, is currently working on projects for the care of elderly people in Mauritius, through its Health Campaign, established since 2010. Last year, this project has received local and international recognitions, due to the efforts of members. This year’s campaign already began with members gathering residents of an old age home of Curepipe, Ste Coeur de Marie, on the public beach of Flic en Flac for a lunch in February 2012. And two months later, members again devoted some of their time voluntarily within the midst of those old people to bring a smile on their face during a tea party at their own residence. On that occasion, a Personal Computer was also donated to the home that would enable the latter for undertaking computerised administrative work.

CONCLUSION: It is strongly wished that young people show empathy and commitments towards their elders with an aim of keeping them healthier. And it is quite certain, that in future decades, from now, the young would need same concerns in turn. In this spirit, the JCI Curepipe would be extending its Health Campaign with the kind assistance of various partners wishing to support its endeavors.

Shailand Gunnoo

PRO 2012 Health Campaign

Aspiring Member

JCI Curepipe