Today, all the developed countries have undertaken various social legislative, reformative, and welfare measures to protect the interests of the old people. Old age homes are to be found in all these nations which give physical protection, medical aid, and economic security to the old. Due to the new trends that have gripped the modern nuclear families old people are often deserted by their own children. Such old people normally take shelter in these homes. Even in these homes old people, often suffer from emotional problems. In most of the modern countries under various welfare schemes due protection is given to the old by means of old age allowance, pension after retirement, accident benefit, free medical aid for the old, etc.
To ensure economic security for the salaried people who become old at the time of retirement various labour legislations and welfare schemes have been introduced which include provident fund, gratuity, life insurance, etc. Measures are also undertaken to take the benefit of the experience of the old people. While some retired persons are given part-time job, some intelligent ones are again appointed as advisers, while a few others are accorded the status of guides or counselors. The old people can render relatively good service to the society in areas which require more mental ability, skill and experience and involve less physical work.
Problems of old age are relatively less in societies where the family ties are very strong. In the Eastern societies, including India, family ties are comparatively stronger. In these societies old people are not neglected. In their own families they still command respect and get the feeling that they are still ‘useful’ and hence wanted. They spend much of their time in the family and devote more of their energy in bringing up the younger ones. They even try to maintain emotional balance at home.
But their Western counterparts are beset with various strains because their family ties are very weaker. They are wanted in the family as long as they are ‘useful’. When once the younger ones feel that the service of the old is not required, they are either ignored or deserted.