Elderly care

April 02, 2020

The new call is for paying it forward – that we show gratitude for our good upbrininging to the next generation.

But it doesn’t hurt to pay backwards and let people in their twilight years feel our appreciation and gratitude for a lifetime of work that made living for us more bearable, even pleasurable than the one experienced by the previous generation.

All cultures and religions call for special care for the elderly, orphans, and widows – sectors who are vulnerable or can’t fend for themselves, especially t this time of gteat national crisis.    

We know this to be not only good for the soul but pleasing in the sigh of God.

For it is said that the things we do to those who have the least, we also do to Him.

And so fully agree with and strongly support the call of a discerning lady lawmaker for taking care of the elderly as the top priority of every local government unit as we face the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Sen. Grace Poe said:

Restrained at home due to the enhanced community quarantine, senior citizens, especially those living on their own, should regularly receive food packs, potable water and essential supplies to sustain them for the quarantine period.

If they need medicines, like their maintenance drugs, someone from the barangay should buy these for them. Those who need check-ups or treatment should be given transportation by the local government unit to the hospital or clinic.

Cash assistance should also reach them, especially these days when they cannot go out to withdraw from banks or ATMs, or receive remittance from their children.

As frontliners in their respective communities, we trust that barangays will reach out and help the elderly.

We should spare the senior citizens from going out of their homes, dealing with the long lines in drug stores or groceries, and exposing themselves to possible infection as they are most vulnerable.

In this time of crisis, we need to look out for them more than ever and make them feel cared for.

The total number of senior citizens (60 years old and over) based on the 2000 Census of Population and Housing was 4.6 million, accounting for 5.97 percent of the 2000 Philippine population. This number registered a 22.18 percent increase from 1995 (3.7 million persons). In terms of the average annual population growth rate, the elderly population grew at 4.39 percent during the 1995 to 2000 period, higher when compared to the 1990 to 1995 growth rate of 3.06 percent. .

The largest percentage of senior citizens was found in Southern Tagalog (Region IV) with a 14.2 percent contribution to the total while the lowest percentage was registered in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with 1.68 percent. A number of senior citizens was also found in Central Luzon (10.56 percent), Western Visayas (10.38 percent), and National Capital Region (10.27 percent).

In terms of the proportion of senior citizens to the regional population, Ilocos Region had the highest percentage (8.04 percent) of senior citizens. Western Visayas (7.63 percent) and Eastern Visayas (7.49 percent) followed.

Of the 4.6 million senior citizens, about 54.11 percent (2.5 million) were females while the rest were males. This translated to a sex ratio of 84.8, that is, 85 males for every 100 female senior citizens, which was lower than the 1990 and 1995 sex ratios (88.43 and 87.63 percents, respectively).

Female senior citizens outnumbered males in all regions except in Southern Mindanao, Central Mindanao, and ARMM with a sex ratio of 101.78, 100.57, and 121.31 respectively. Females visibly outnumbered males in NCR and Ilocos Region with a sex ratio of 76.5 and 76.8,

Female senior citizens outnumbered males in all age groups with the biggest gap in the 80 years and over age group.

Senior citizens had a median age of 68 years, same as that of 1990 and 1995. This means that half of the senior citizens were below 68 years old.