The Need for AdvantAge Groups
It is seen that before retirement, people lead an active life. They are involved in raising a family, settling their children, busy in their work life and socializing with their family and friends. After retirement their activities reduce, their children are busy in their own schedules and senior citizens end up facing neglect and isolation especially in the cities.
HelpAge India believes that leading an active and purposeful life after the age of 60 is the key to fighting isolation and neglect. A senior citizen's happiness is largely dependent on the choice of activities that he or she chooses.
What is Active Ageing?
Active Ageing is when we live our lives by staying active to the fullest extent, within all areas of life: physical, mental and social. We are also involved in an activity with a sense of purpose that is self-sustaining financially as it generates its own income.
What are AdvantAge Groups?
AdvantAge Groups are a group of at leastfive AdvantAge Card members. These group members come together for a purpose. This group is voluntarily involved in an activity through which they stay active physically, mentally, socially and choose an activity/ project through which they are involved in socially useful productive work. This group raises their own funds to progress in their chosen activity.
HelpAge India believes that just meeting regularly is not the practice of Active Ageing, though we will encourage the formation of recreation groups as well, especially among those who are not inclined to engage in social work. These recreation groups have to be motivated to draw in other not-so-active elders in their activity groups so that they make an attempt to do some good in trying to end the isolation of other elders.
Possible Socially Useful Projects for AdvantAge Groups: To have a sense of purpose, these Groups should choose an activity/ project that best suits their locality or city and is the urgent need. Following are few examples of purposeful activities related to cause of:
- Raise money for buying books for children of a local slum
- Teach slum children about Hygiene, Healthy habits
- Provide non-formal education to needy
- Helping under-privileged school children
- Elders: Identify destitute elders in your city and link them to HelpAge India helpline.
- Women: Work with disadvantaged women and make them aware of their rights.
- Environment: Organize a campaign and implement possible projects on-
- Waste bins at every location near the apartments and park
- Plastic bags disposal in your apartment complex/ locality
- Planting trees in your city
- Improving the drainage system in your locality
- Building a concrete rain harvesting system in your locality
- Collect old clothes and donate to an NGO that makes use of these for the poor.
- Health: Organize Health Awareness campaigns not only for the senior citizens but also for society in general.
AdvantAge Groups should be self-sustaining and self-funding. HelpAge India believes that when a group of disadvantaged women in Bihar can raise funds for Uttarakhand flood victims' relief within their community, so can our AdvantAge Groups. When people around them see real work happening which benefits the society, people are encouraged to donate every time.
We aim to fight isolation and neglect amongst the elders through the formation of AdvantAge Groups and promoting Active Ageing.