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Social Exclusion and Older Persons: A Case of Millennium of Isolation
Old age social exclusion is a crucial issue all over the world. The ways in which social exclusion may affect older people have largely been neglected. This article seeks to generate a better understanding of the dimensions of social exclusion relevant to older people highlighting the causes and effects of social exclusion of old age. Poverty and health issues are important elements of the social exclusion. This data is based on in-depth interviews from the old age people of union council Jalalabad in Multan. 38 respondents were selected from the union council Jalalabad through purposive sampling. Based on in-depth interviews of the respondents containing questions related to the causes and effects of social exclusion it is recommended that government and private institutions should promote the awareness in people to alleviate the social exclusion issue from the society.
Old age, Social exclusion, Isolation, Society, Issues.
Social prohibition is a procedure that constrains people's capability to partake in the public eye and is related with unforeseen weakness and low quality of life (Barnes, Blom, Cox, & Le, 2006). There are a few drivers of social avoidance including neediness, lower levels of instructive fulfillment, joblessness, sick wellbeing, poor lodging or vagrancy, poor vehicle get to, expanded degrees of wrongdoing and constrained social help, all of which can have enduring impacts (Bradshaw, Kemp, Baldwin, & Rowe, 2004).
Social exclusion alludes to the division of people and gatherings from standard society. (Commins, 2004; Moffatt & Glasgow, 2009). Social exclusion is one of the major problems handled by the aged people in their old age. Social exclusion excluded from social exhibitions, means to exclude from the social work even from segregation and racism. Here, an individual is helpless to execute his rights due to enormous limitations in education, employment, training and medical care (Kaftatzoglou, 2006).
Old-age social exclusion prompts imbalances in what's more, control, resources and associations, and power and rights in key regions of neighborhood and system; organizations, improvements and flexibility; material and ﬁnancial resources; social relations; socio-social pieces of society; and metro speculation. Old age exclusion ensnares states, social orders, networks and people (Walsh, Scharf, & Keating, 2016).
The process of becoming older, a process that is genetically determined and environmentally modulated. (Shiel, 2018). Individuals generally speaking are living longer. Today, unprecedented for history, a large number of individuals can want to live into their sixties and past. By 2050, the absolute people developed 60 years and progressively prepared is required to indicate 2 billion, up from 900 million out of 2015. Today, 125 million people are developed 80 years or progressively settled. By 2050, there will be almost this many (120 million) living in China alone, and 434 million people in this age bundle far and wide. By 2050, 80% of all older people will live in low-and center salary nations (Organization, 2018). Aged people ratio of above age (65+) in Pakistan is 7 % (Population, 2019).
Aging people are the challenges for community and government in different forms like health issues, exclusion issues, but community and government not seen these challenges as crises. Government and society planning in that order in which these challenges transform into opportunities (Guzman, Pawliczko, Beales, Till, & Voelcker, 2012).
Different causes of social exclusion in which economic cause is on the top which elaborate the condition of China. ‘In modern world of China participation of aging people in social practices in country zones has not been taken as allowed. Because of this reality that for the most part aging peoples despite everything need to participate in horticultural exercises to win for endurance (Feng, 2010).
In Pakistani society the older persons have knowledge and huge experience about everything, through their experience’s youth run the society, continuity of life and society move towards the development. Aging people life dependent on others in all aspects whether socially, economically or culturally (Ahmed, Chaudhry, & Farooq, 2015). Problems which faced by the aging people are not highlighted and most developing countries these problems only in files, these files put on the bottom shelf’ (Nyanguru, 2005).
Such social restrictions prevent them to perform proudly in the society, hence the poverty embraces them. Such financial and emotional implications not only create the interpersonal problems but paves the way to social segregation (Tsaousi, 2007).
The status of elderly was to determine from the economic point of view. Till a few years ago, their retirements from jobs gave them a calmness and mental serenity to be at home with relaxation. But the pension of some of them, was not enough and suffered from economic setbacks, hence they could not move in society normally (Economou & Feron, 2006).
Additionally, the poor elderly, without acquiring their prior permission, property was used, and it was a great social crime against them. The elderly were left at the edge of financial abuse which posed as a threat. 20 per cent were of elderly of 65, were targeted for financial misconduct to them (Liapi, 2016).
The elderly had the basic needs like enough nourishment, clothing and cleanliness and their income fulfilled their needs. Living with relatives with love and integraton and basic medical facilities and related care with a sense that they were not the burden to others. There might be education, employment and communication and new interests. They must be helped with all necessary things to be provided like crutches, canes or wheelchairs. They should have the possible reach to the hospitals, home care and community services (Meiner, 2016).
Disengagement theory is applied on my research concept related to social exclusion of aging people. Cumming & Henry (1961) in ‘Disengagement theory of aging describe that it is natural and suitable for aging people to isolate from society and individual connections as per their age.
The theory further discloses that society act to the aged people separation with a kind of common acknowledgment that the more seasoned individuals will before long pass and society prepared for the capacity in their nonappearance'. Disengagement theory was the first theory of aging developed by social scientists. It was originally formulated by Elaine Cumming and Warren Earl Henry in their 1961 book Growing Old (Kaftatzoglou, 2006).
Social exclusion of older person’s people is a multifaceted technique that incorporates the nonattendance of renouncing of benefits, rights, items and adventures as people age, and the inability to check out the normal associations and activities, open to a large portion of people over the vacillated and different regions of society. It impacts both the individual fulfillment of progressively prepared individuals and the worth and association of an aging society (Levitas, 2006).
This article will help in the society that how society will understand the issues of older people of union council Jalalabad, Multan regarding exclusion. Study will also highlight the important causes of exclusion and its effects on older people life.
Materials and Methods
The researcher had conducted the firsthand data from union council Jalalabad, Multan, Punjab Province. This data was collected from the aged people settled in those villages who were targeted by the social exclusion according to the causes and effects of social exclusion through the method of case study and focus group discussion. The nature of the research was descriptive or qualitative. Through the technique of purposive sampling, the sample was drawn. Total of 38 samples were included who were old ranging from 60 to 95 years. The researcher had collected the data completely through the case-study and FGD relating to the aged native people. The data conduct was achieved in the mother tongue (native language) of the respondents, so that he can provide the data easily. Later, it was done in the transcribed form. After applying the different methods, the major themes were made and was discussed in the descriptive form.
Results and Discussion
Old age people faced different issues in different ways in Pakistani society, such as health issues, social issues and many more. The respondents were not facilitated with the medical facilities. They were suffering from one or the other diseases. Someone was suffering from diabetes and someone from the cardiac complaint. Some of them were living their lives by suffering from multiple diseases simultaneously. Their children were not able to buy them the medicines on time. One reason was the poverty and the other one was the sky-high inflation. They told that their children were of the view that they even could not manage the regular meals then how would they buy the medicines for them every day. As some researcher said that in low and medium-salary nations, neediness is far reaching. More established individuals are regularly poor and every now and again lack access to medicinal services. In high-pay nations, more seasoned individuals are much of the time excessively spoke to among poor people (Bloom, Jimenez, & Rosenberg, 2011).
The medicines had become their only dependency to live a healthy life in that old age. The medicines for blood pressure, constipation, digestive system, angina and gas trouble had become the part of their lives. They were mentally ready to live in hunger but could not give up taking the medicines. Their eyes were always blurred with tears that they had made them educated and their disobedient children could not buy them even the medicines though their parents did the best for them even they remained famished for their sake but fed them to their fill and they could arrange even a single tablet for them.
The locale where the researcher conducted the research, there is only one basic health unit which is not working properly; only check-up is free but medicines are to be bought from market. The poor cannot afford these medicines and rely on faith. Either they borrow money for medicines or a distant relative manages their medicines. For some medicines are provided and the serious ones are hospitalized. The elderly feel themselves a mere burden to their family.
It is huge that the state, normal society and system sees the rights and needs of the elderly people men and make proper polices establishments and effective execution of prosperity and security plans which starting at now exist. Explicit state mediations are required for the matured ladies, they are by and large generally helpless and for the aged who are beneath the neediness line (Bhat & Raj, 2001).
Their expenses of medicines were a burdensome for the family and their children. The family members were viewed that nobody could dare forbid them to ask for medicines, but they had also to manage such a huge family's expenses and they their little children were school-going children. They said that how they could they buy them the medicines although their children’s expenses were too high in number. In that age of inflation, the medicines were costlier than the meals. They advised them that they were already using the remedies and they could do them then.
Lack of Social Interaction
They wished to share their loneliness with their friends, relatives and their children but they could not do ever like that. The poverty was a main reason behind all this by which these old people were kept away from their loved ones. They revealed that they did not use to go anywhere because their pockets were empty, even they could not take a cup of tea with their friends at a hotel, then how would they pay Rs.20 because they were ashamed of having empty hands and empty pockets.
The story has not been too different. Owing to the bigger poverty prevailed in country, the economic situation is more worsened as compared to the western countries. The elderly class is much left frustrated and deprived by not to be considered for their maintenance as our lawful responsibility because we deem it to be only moral and religious duty, hence they are still not enforced to be a part of laws. (Ahmad, 2016).
Another respondent told that poverty had kept one to be alone because either they were relatives or the friends, all had used to salute to the status and money they had, not that person. They admitted that they were poor but if they wished to be respected by being the old people and talked in lenient tone, was enough for them. After departing the youth, the old age often begot the poverty along.
They said, " the main reason to face the poverty at this age, was to be empowering the children with the decision-making and devolving all the responsibilities upon the shoulders of their children." According to the respondents, they had transferred their all kinds of properties, responsibilities and powers in the name of their young generation, so that they could live their old age with prosperity. On the contrary, they said that their own children had kicked them out of their homes by realizing them an idle and useless person and they adopted and followed the modern era.
Old age exclusion is leads to limited in all the things like power, aged people have less power for decisions because their children thinks they are from old traditions and cultures therefore they less aware about the new relations mostly marriage decisions not taken by aged people (Walsh, Scharf, & Keating, 2016).
In fact, their children always used to scream for the inflation but contrarily, they had increased their un-necessary luxuries. They ran after the artificial life by leaving and ignoring the simple life. Where they used to take the funnel-cakes with milk to a friend of theirs, then their children were giving them the cakes, biscuits, juices and the bags full of fresh fruits along with the fabric suites.
Pakistan dominatingly is a Muslim state where family system is affected by Islamic culture and Islamic characteristics, where respect, care and sharing for each other are key norm. In any case, on account of the downpour of western media and other outside effects we see and find western family structures being Progressively appealing. It is extensively acknowledged that the youths should be progressively free and the new hitched couples like to live autonomously and would prefer not to live with their folks for need of protection (Salahuddin & Jalbani, 2006).
They said that their children felt as if they died while giving their parents some money. If they supposedly asked them to fetch some things from bazaar, they used to ask for the expenses spent. Some respondents had also viewed that their children used to take their amounts received through the pensions, into their hands by making the pretexts of having the poverty.
Some of the family members were of the view that they had not enough money on them to spend it for their recreational purposes. They said that they were living by making them to lie in a corner of home and it was a great blessing and fortune to them, otherwise look at the other old people who were living in the old homes. There was an exorbitant expense in such times of high inflation, and you know very well about the prevailing circumstances.
The elderly has been facing one thing bitterly which has been traumatizing their lives and that is poverty with its catastrophic consequences being affected on their self-esteem, worth, the process of education and other setbacks faced (Ramashala, 2002).
Mental and Physical Health
The main reason of social exclusion was the bad mental and physical health of the old people. The gaps were created in their personalities. They used to show the irritability and after a while, their eyes turned to be blurred with tears. They had been sick of their lives. Due to having the poor mental health, they had suffered from the dementia. If society and government want elderly people survive with healthy life then government or private agencies covering their medical, physical, social, psychological, and spiritual needs (Qidwai & Ashfaq, 2011).
According to the respondents: " the loneliness was the first-ever impairing to them which had been devouring them from inside slowly and gradually. If their children were not keeping them then it was all right, but they wished to spend even few minutes with them." When the changes in social structures in a society occur, they fall prey to the loneliness and frustration, causing the physical and mental decline, hence their level of contributions is lessened (CDC, 2015).
They were homeless even having their own home. They were compelled to live a life of isolation by having been separated from their families. The respondents were of the view, " the loneliness of old age was not letting them to live nor to die." The government and the volunteer agencies in India should make sound arrangements for every possible institutional support and the extra care to look after the helpless old people at homes (Akbar, Tiwari, Tripathi, Kumar, & Pandey, 2014)
The respondents said that their isolated life was too difficult to live by being away from their families. If they sit with us for few moments, their attitudes explained each and everything. Their forcible and compulsively sitting with them, was too annoying and painful to them. When they don't come to see them, their hearts pine away in the remembrance of their children and grandchildren. They were hit by the loneliness by being away from their home and children as if they seemed to be abnormal.
They feel themselves to be too lonely because they don't find anybody to share anything with them. They face consecutive painful strokes of time when they are retired from their services and they lose the perpetual gatherings in the offices. It hurts them a lot (Salahuddin & Jalbani , 2006).
The respondents told that they could not go to their relatives and brothers and sisters' homes to meet with because they needed to pay for the fare and to give some money to their sisters too, so they could not go to them for a visit. They said that their children had kept them away from their own siblings due to the money and neither they had belonged to their own family nor to their blood relations. If they had asked for the fare, they usually refused by saying that in that old age, how they would go out of home and if any untoward happened to them, what would happen and who will be the responsible.
A social inclusion approach has been utilized in numerous social orders to handle an expansive scope of social issues, for example, destitution, joblessness and lodging. Due to poverty mostly people not included in the society and not meet with their friends and relatives (Ogg, 2005 &Victor et al., 2008 quoted in Warburton et al., 2012).
The respondents said, " they were tantalized to talk or see their children for long days or weeks. There was no one to understand and know their griefs and awful circumstances. They had not any money on them, so that they could go and meet with loved ones. The life was shorter which would be passed. By thinking so, they were still alive."
Adult children frequently help for their old guardians as they require help with their drawn-out consideration needs. Grown-up youngsters go about as potential guardians or offer money related help for Their folks when they require more consideration in a drawn-out consideration office. The nearness of grown-up kids diminished the spouse's danger of entering a nursing home, paying little heed to her significant other (Nakagawa & Lawrence, 2015).
According to the researcher, the loneliness was an important element which was created due to the Social Exclusion. The second reason of mental illness was the depression. They suffered the depression due to the loneliness and they were under an acute blood pressure every time. They kept thinking of petty matters for hours and were upset. The restlessness and discontent had become the parts of their personality.
The respondents said, " the solution of my problems, is the love of my children. My face would been cheered if had been able to taste the fruits of mine." The reason of their sufferings was the depression of staying away from their children to which they were patiently tolerating in that old age. They were compelled to live such a miserable life.
The family members are also expected to discharge their duties towards their elderly members within the family to set an example of marvelous love and mutual affection. Shah, 1998 says in (Akbar, Tiwari, Tripathi, Kumar, & Pandey, 2014)
They were deprived of their own home's comforts where they passed the days of their childhood and youth. That day, they were desolated and were expelled from their own homes. Even having their own home, they were living with their relatives or their animals in the stables.
The respondents were of the view, " even having our own homes, we are living the lives full of stumbles with banishment. A home which was a legacy of our forefathers and we lived there collectively and there was not any concept of a stranger for any family member. The family was later divided. The all brothers stayed separated from each other and the father was shifted to the stable of the animals. All it was meant that there was no room for a father at home and being an owner of that home, he had been a servant."
In the prevailing modern age, the patterns of marriages are influenced but it is not considered to be compatible to the requirements of the joint family system, hence it is not adopted at present. It is as clear as daylight that most of the families tend to be separated from them in laws or parents and like to live as a nuclear family (Hussain & Manzoor, 2015).
The respondent said, " I wished that a home where I was born, that home might be my death bed, but my unfortunate children had destroyed my wish. Now, I have been passing the last days of my life at my brother's home. The fault is perhaps ours that we might have left some shortcomings while raising them which has appeared as a punishment to us in this old age. The researcher had felt their intention that they wished to live their rest of life with their children at home happily. They told that they felt the specific feeling of their late forefathers at that home.
With respect to the physiological structure is concerned, elderly people men are generally irritable and individuals think of it as the second 'adolescence of them', requesting for their consideration and consideration. In the event that they neglect to get their attractive things, they become discouraged and free wellbeing because of sentiments of vulnerability (Macionis, 2010).
The old people keep themselves to be away from the society. The society itself let them feel that their place is at home. The family and relatives help them feel that they cannot be a part of this world. They do not feel themselves to be fit for being a part of social activities. Such feelings really make them helpless and disabled.
Their place is not the home but the stable of pet animals at home where they are being treated like that of animals. Social exclusion due to family behavior which effected in the shape of loneliness and depression. They wished to live their lives with their family and grandchildren to share their experiences of life. They wished to share their loneliness, but the family members realized them to be only the gateman. The capability of the decision-making was snatched from them.
Now, they were deprived of that feeling. Until they were the owners of the properties; they enjoyed the elation and contentment. As soon as they transferred their properties in the name of their children, a home and the right of decision-making was also assumed from them. The decisions of getting the children married, were made without asking their consent, even by having the authority of voting, they could not vote to their favorite parties. The political men were also coming to their children for asking to vote and their children had compelled them to vote to those who were chosen by their children. They were losing all their rights for being the old ones.
This study provides valuable understandings about the social exclusion causes and effects related to older people. The social exclusion is an idea which makes us to look back into the affairs and sensitive issues of destitution and insufficiency in order to ascertain the range wherein the elderly can have the capabilities to Perform their presentation in the society very proficiently and ably. The scope and magnitude of the social exclusion lack the true and exact definition and don't have the relationship amongst the various ranges. Facing the dearth of accurateness about the social exclusion means that the supervisors and regulators of the policies and enthusiasts have been restricted in the process of formulating the policies and programs to mitigate the ratio of social exclusion among the groups of elderly. In Pakistan, exclusion of the elderly has still been a formidable challenge in the aging-related societies. The older people in the last era of age faced different problems like Social Exclusion and due to this exclusion, they become a target of neglect and judgement in society. They are culturally, emotionally, politically and socially neglect by the family members, relatives and people of the society. Mostly older people neglected in economic and earning opportunities. In mostly conditions people hire teenagers instead of older persons therefore they also feel an economic problem and due to these problems, their life disturb. Even they are search economic opportunities in their later life for survival, but the institutions have still failed to provide economic opportunities due to their fewer physical stamina. The study finding also concluded that there are many issues related health which faced by the older people in their life. In health issues physical disease and psychological disease is the cause of neglect from the family or less care from the family. The root of the social exclusion was the property. If there was any property, then there was a status and honor at home as well as in the society. If the property is transferred in the name of the children, that is a last day to be respected by them. The family realizes them to be a burden and the society sees them with sympathizing.