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Now elderly can resolve issues online

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
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NGO opens helpline to provide free-of-cost assistance

Now old people and their family members can find solutions to all their concerns and problems about old age online as a new helpline has been opened by non-government organisation Agewell Foundation to cater to the needs and rights of the elderly.

Speaking about the initiative, Himanshu Rath, founder chairman of Agewell Foundation, said: “When we had started the first ever phone helpline 15 years ago, most of the callers were old people in the age group of 60-67. They were more vocal about their concerns and problems. However, over the years the age profile of callers has gone through a sea change and old people from the age group of 70-80 also contact for seeking solutions to their respective problems quite regularly.

In addition, one more new phenomenon is that many young people send emails with queries about issues concerning old age. They are more interested in understanding the needs of older people and how to deal with them.”

An analysis of the helpline records, he said, had revealed that while earlier it were the younger among the old (those in the 60-67 year age-group) who were more agitated and eager to find solutions, now it is those in the 67-plus bracket who were more keen on seeking assistance.

“This apart, even youngsters are equally agitated in dealing with old people and want ready solution to their problems,” he said.

Mr. Rath said while his organisation has about 80,000 volunteers in about 640 districts of the country, it decided to reach out through online communication as it was “discreet and most convenient”.

“Now old people and their family members living in any part of the world can send email to Agewell Online Helpline and resolve their concerns, issues and problems. The helpline provides free of cost assistance for older people, their family members and caregivers.”

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