Social inclusion is an act of being connected to each other


Team Udayavani, Jan 27, 2022, 3:17 PM IST

Who are in need of social inclusion?

It is the action of improving peoples’ ability, opportunity and dignity, also minimize the disadvantaged based on their existence, and to take part in community. According to researchers today almost one in ten people globally are over the age of 60 and by 2050 this number will increase to one in five people. As per the statistics India is home to one-eighth of the world’s population. Here people are undergoing major changes in family and social structures. More of nuclear family have recently made older people much more vulnerable to social isolation.

A study showed about 65% of the aged had to depend on others for their day-to-day maintenance. In which it mentioned that 20% or else elderly women but mostly of elderly men are involved. They are economically independent. In rural areas 55% of elderly aged with sickness and loneliness and the rest without sickness. In urban areas 68% of elderly aged with sickness and loneliness and the rest without it. About 5.7 percent of the countries senior citizens live on their own without the support of family and friends.

How it is affected?

The past one year the covid-19 pandemic has extensively affected the daily lives of individuals all over the globe. Various studies have reported that older adults experience loneliness, age discrimination, and depression. There few factors affecting the routines such as illness, disability, loss of contact or minimal contact with friends/ family relatives, lack of a supportive environment and society and lack of acceptable social opportunities can develop the feeling of exclusion from the society.

Impacts of Social exclusion:

Social exclusion contributes to loneliness and depression, it also effects people’s opportunities, their well-being, and their sense of agency. Stereotypes and prejudice such as ageism can lead to discriminatory practices that devalue older adults experience and expertise.

Problems faced due to social exclusion

  • Lack of denial of resources and opportunities​
  • Denial of rights​
  • Denial of goods and services​
  • Inability to participate in normal relationships​
  • Depression among older adults​
  • Poor community participation​
  • Discrimination in job opportunities​
  • Reduced health and low satisfaction ​
  • Reduced productivity​

Strategies to overcome social exclusion:

  • By including older adults in their place by giving them opportunity to take part in society, through which giving them the sense of accomplishment and belonging to the society or group of people.
  • Communicating with neighbors and friends (planning/discussions)
  • Even casual conversations with strangers can fulfil some social needs of older adults and contribute to their well-being.
  • Involve in daily walking and physical exercise
  • Full use of health and social care services
  • Connect with your family and friends through virtual platform (Phone calls, voice messages, video calls etc.)
  • It also recognizes their value, allows to stay active and contribution to society based on their needs, preferences, abilities and enable measures to include them.
  • Giving an opportunity to participate in the community will motivate elderly people to take up new roles.
  • There are older adults who are active in all the areas of life and it gives opportunities for meaningful paid and voluntary work.
  • Promotes safety at home and neighbourhood, provide access health services and provide accessible transportation.
  • Meaningful social relationships help to provide affection, as well as a sense of purpose and respect.
  • A right social network can be greatly beneficial to older adults by supporting their well-being and helping them maintain their independence.
  • A central access point for a range of cultural and recreational programs and services (such as public libraries) can be particularly promising to address their need for meaningful relationships with people nearby.

Written By:

  • Benna Francis, 2nd Year BOT
  • Amnah, Briana – 4th year BOT
  • Lavanya Padmashali, Clinical Supervisor, Department of Occupational Therapy,  MCHP, MAHE, Manipal.

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