The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Objective 3: Improved availability of accessible and affordable transportation for older persons.

Actions: (a) Improve the availability of efficient public transportation services in rural and urban areas; (b) Facilitate the growth of both public and private alternative forms of transport in urban areas, such as neighbourhood-based businesses and services; (c) Encourage the training and assessment of older drivers, the design of safer roadways and the development of new kinds of vehicles that cater to the needs of older persons and persons with disabilities.

Provision of care to those who need it, either by older persons or for them, is mostly done by the family or community, especially in developing countries. Families and communities also play a key role in prevention, care, support and treatment of persons affected by HIV/AIDS. Where the caregivers are older persons, provisions should be made to assist them; and where they are the recipients of care there is a need to establish and strengthen human resources and health and social infrastructures as imperatives for the effective delivery of prevention, treatment, care and support services. This caregiving system should be strengthened and reinforced by public policies as the proportion of the population needing such care increases.

Even in countries with well-developed formal care policies, inter-generational ties and reciprocity ensure that most care is still informal. Informal care has a complementary character and does not replace professional care. Ageing in one’s community is an ideal in all countries. In many countries, however, family care without compensation to caregivers is creating new economic and social strains. The cost to women, in particular, who continue to provide the majority of informal care, is now recognized. Female caregivers bear financial penalty of low pension contributions because of absences from the labour market, foregone promotions and lower incomes. They also bear the physical and emotional cost of stress from balancing work and household obligations. The situation is especially demanding for women with both child and elder care responsibilities.

In many parts of the world, especially Africa, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has forced older women, already living in difficult circumstances, to take on the added burden of caring for children and grandchildren with HIV/AIDS and for grandchildren orphaned by AIDS. At a time when it is more normal for adult children to look after their ageing parents, many older persons find themselves with the unexpected responsibility of caring for frail children or with the task of becoming sole parents to grandchildren.

In the last two decades, community care and ageing in place have become the policy objective of many governments. Sometimes the underlying rationale has been financial, because, based on the assumption that families will supply the bulk of care, community care is expected to cost less than residential care. Without adequate assistance, family caregivers can be overburdened. In addition, formal community care systems, even where they exist, often lack sufficient capacity because they are poorly resourced and coordinated. As a result, residential care may be the preferred option of either the frail older person or the caregiver...

Objective 1: Provision of a continuum of care and services for older persons from various sources and support for caregivers.

Actions: (a) Take steps to provide community-based care and support for family care; (b) Increase quality of care and access to community-based long-term care for older persons living alone in order to extend their capacity for independent living as a possible alternative to hospitalization and nursing home placement; (c) Support caregivers through training, information, psychological, economic, social and legislative mechanisms;...(e) Facilitate comparative research into care systems in different cultures and settings; (f) Prepare and implement strategies for meeting the special needs of ageing caregivers for persons with cognitive disabilities; (g) Establish and apply standards and mechanisms to ensure quality care in formal care settings;..

(i) Enhance, through appropriate measures, self-reliance of older women and men and create conditions that promote quality of life and enable them to work and live independently in their own communities for as long as possible and desired; (j) Promote provision of community-based care and support of family care, taking into account equal distribution of caring responsibilities between women and men by measures for better reconciliation of working and family life.

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