Two generations try to understand each other

The next time you say “Aap toh sathiya gaye hain” to an elderly person, think twice.

Dementia, the disease of forgetfulness that afflicts the elderly, is curable.

“Awareness on dementia is low in the country. The disease may set in due to a mini-stroke, when blood supply to the brain drops temporarily. People should be encouraged to get it cured,” said Dr Amitesh Aggarwal, assistant professor (medicine) at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital.

An interaction was held at AIIMS on Wednesday, where students from Kendriya Vidyalayas and senior citizens from across Delhi participated. The aim was to make both groups of people from separate generations understand each other’s needs.

“The number of people above 60 years has increased. At least five generations will be living in the same society in the near future,” said Dr Indira Jaiprakash, professor of psychology in Bangalore University.

“Today’s interaction was organised to prepare youths for multi-generation households,” added Dr Jaiprakash.

She said generation gap is a result of historical factors and different experiences in life.
“One generation belongs to the ‘before computers’ era, while another is a product of the information technology boom. So frictions are bound to crop up and both sides need to deal with it,” she said.

Beginning the session with the song Why This Kolaveri Di, organisers set the tone for an informal but intense debate. While youths complained of being restricted from doing things they like, the elderly complained of insensitivity and loneliness.

“I think there has be an effort from both sides to break the boundaries. For example, the elderly must cook Maggi and pasta for kids, and the latter must take time out to read something nice to the elderly,” said Santosh Sarin, 74, member of Delhi State Council for Senior Citizens.

AIIMS has started a post-graduate course in Gerontology — the medical science for the elderly. The first batch will join in the coming session.

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