Current Situation of Bangladesh Senior Citizen
In Bangladesh, thanks to the improvement in the quality of life, the number of people over 60 is rapidly increasing. This should be seen as an emerging challenge as the elderly will have special needs and need different welfare services. Since Bangladesh does not have a social assistance system, there will be competition for inadequate resources, especially for health and medical services. It is expected that due to the older population, the demographic structure will undergo a slow change from the current pyramidal structure. The growing trend towards the nuclear family or where children live abroad will put the elderly parents in a dilemma: the financial and social support that is essential to them has not yet emerged. The nutritional and health status of the elderly depends on adequate drinking water, adequate sanitation, and hygiene standards. To provide special medical care for the elderly, it is necessary to establish age-appropriate primary health care centers recommended by the WHO and set up separate wards/departments in hospitals. To reduce the vulnerability of older women, it is necessary to distribute property and property according to the law. Our new generations must be responsive, informed and attentive to their duties and responsibilities towards the elderly. Taking care of the elderly is our ethical duty and responsibility.
Previously, Bangladesh society took care of the elderly, but now the situation is changing due to the change in social, psychological and economic perspective. From a social, economic and political point of view, the elderly population is growing rapidly and is a major concern for Bangladesh. According to the national census between 1974 and 2011, the growth of the elderly is gradually increasing. In 1974, populations between 60-64 years were 1682629 and in 2011 the numbers were 3218974. Similarly, between 65-69 years the population was 735255 and 1998760 in 1974 and 2011 respectively. Over the same period of time, the populations of seniors over 70 years were 1639056 to 1998760. The report shows that the proportion of elderly people aged 60-64, 65-69, 70-75 and over 70 years was 37%, 21 20%, and 22%, respectively. According to the Bangladesh Bureau’s report, trends in the elderly population gradually increase.
Previously, Bangladesh society took care of the elderly, but now the situation is changing due to the change in social, psychological and economic perspective. From a social, economic and political point of view, the elderly population is growing rapidly and is a major concern for Bangladesh. According to the national census between 1974 and 2011, the growth of the elderly is gradually increasing. In 1974, populations between 60-64 years were 1682629 and in 2011 the numbers were 3218974. Similarly, between 65-69 years the population was 735255 and 1998760 in 1974 and 2011 respectively. Over the same period of time, the populations of seniors over 70 years were 1639056 to 1998760. The report shows that the proportion of elderly people aged 60-64, 65-69, 70-75 and over 70 years was 37%, 21 20%, and 22%, respectively. According to the Bangladesh Bureau’s report, trends in the elderly population increasing in level.
A study report shows that in Bangladesh, the majority of people over the age of 60 live in rural areas where they lack adequate health services, economic services, and very limited work opportunities. The situation of the elderly is sad, where over 50% of the elderly are widowed or single9 .63% are unemployed and 14-15% are engaged in agricultural work and daily work. This is comparable to that of Tehran, where 85% of the elderly are an unofficial worker10. The elderly found non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes, chronic respiratory diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, kidney tumors and diabetes, as well as other chronic diseases11, 12. Furthermore, research shows that Children of elderly parents in Bangladesh live in the city for education, work or life. Once again, older people feel comfortable living in the countryside and sometimes children leave their older parents to live in the city.13 44.3% of people live in poverty and in order to keep their expenses of subsistence and family needs; the elderly are involved in beggary14 However, older women, especially widows and those without children, are faced with economic vulnerabilities and the consequences of health problems15, 16. Modern society has failed to maintain the dignity and honor of the elderly. This can be attributed to various reasons, such as individualistic attitudes, instability of family structures, impairment of dignity, differences in income and other social problems17. The same scenario is happening in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh constitution mentioned the rights of the elderly. In Part II of the Constitution, Section 15 entitled “Basic Needs Supply” described the social security of older people as “providing basic life needs, including food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care; reasonable rest, leisure and recreation, and the right to social security, ie to public assistance in case of undeserved desires resulting from unemployment, illness or disability, or suffered by widows or orphans or in old age, or in other cases mentioned in 15 (un) (c) and (d) clause 18 respectively “dual.
The old-age allowance is presented in Bangladesh in the fiscal year (FY) 1997-1998 and the main objectives of this allowance are to guarantee socio-economic development and social security for the elderly; increase the dignity of the elderly within the family and the community. The aim of the check is strengthening mental health through the granting of Medicare and increasing nutritional support for the elderly in Bangladesh. The age of 65 for males and 62 for women whose average annual income does not exceed 10,000 BDT is considered eligible for the old-age allowance. The total budget in the 1997-1998 financial year was Bfr 125.00 million and the monthly allocation per 100 takas per person and the total beneficiary was 40.311. The amount of the per capita subsidy was increased during the current year 2015-2016. The Bangladesh government has allocated 14,400 million BDT and the total beneficiary is 3 million, each beneficiary receives 400 BDT per capita per month19. However, Bangladesh has pension policies to provide social security for old age only for retired government employees. According to the Public Service Retirement Act 1974b, the retirement age of the Bangladesh government employee is now 59 years20. Bangladesh has introduced the implementation plan of the program for the protection of old age health and guarantees health care. This program aims to provide efficient and sustainable management and management system for health services with a special and special emphasis on the development of a sustainable health system and efficient and reactive human resources 21. Recently, the Bangladesh Parent Care Act of 2013 has tried to ensure that children had to take the necessary measures to take care of their parents for three years and provide them with assistance. But it is not yet fully functional. 22. Many aged care organizations work for the elderly and the elderly to be involved in organizing care for the elderly. For example, Probin Hitoishi Kendra, Probin Hitoishi Sangha Bangladesh Association for the Aged and Institute of Geriatric Medicine (BAAIGM), Retired Officers Welfare Association (Dhaka), Protection Association of Retired Police Officers (Dhaka), Service Center for the Elderly ( Rajshahi), Initiative for the Development of Elderly (Manikganj), Senakalyan Sangstha, etc. There are initiatives taken by the government and NGOs and social organizations for the elderly, but it is not enough to cover the entire elderly population of Bangladesh.
The available literature shows that in our society the elderly are faced with many kinds of social, mental, medical and economic problems. Because of their age, the elderly in Bangladesh have to face the following challenges. Due to the social context of Bangladesh, most women in rural areas and poor neighborhoods do not have land and other property and are in a worse situation than old, although the country has a law to distribute land and property to women. Moreover, according to the act of application of the personal Muslim law (Shariat), 1937 (ACT XXVI OF 1937), the wife inherits the one-eight if there is a child and if there are no children gets a quarter24. In Bangladesh, traditional models of the family are breaking down, changing norms and values such as respect for the elderly in the family and in the community. As a result, the vulnerability of older people is increasing. A vulnerability is in terms of food consumption, shelter, community, and social attitude. In Bangladesh, the elderly suffer from multiple health problems. Like, weakness, dental problems, hearing problems, visual problems, body pain, back pain, rheumatic pain and stiffness in the joint, dementia, prolonged cough, breathing difficulties, asthma, palpitations, hypertension and incompetence of urination, which psychosocial treatment, nursing care, and hospitalization may take a long time.
Bangladesh Journal of Bioethics 2016; 7(1):27-36 Bangla Jol