TODAY -

Reminiscence of a recreation park for elderly citizen in Stockholm (Sweden)

Dr N Irabanta Singh *



Introduction

The writer had opportunity to attend the 4th International Conference on Aerobiology (27-31 August, 1990) in Stockholm (Sweden) being organized by Dr Siwart Nilson, President, Interna-tional Aerobiology Associa- tion and his colleagues from Palynology Laboratory, Swedish Museum of Nation-al History, Stockholm.

He (the writer) along with Dr Srikant Kulkarni from Kar-nataka Agricultural Univer- sity, Dharward was lodged in a double bedded room at a youth hostel, Stockholm. We stayed together in the same room for 5 nights ( 26-31st August, 1990). (The Sangai Express, Dec 9 and 10, 2016).

Just behind the Youth hostel, there was a recreation Park for elderly citizen. By that time, the writer was just 40 years old and was not aware of the enjoyment that might have been received by the Swedish elderly citizens. After 28 years, the writer reminisces the happy scene of those elderly Swedish elderly citizens playing and walking at that recreation park.

According to Wikipedia, the term recreation appears to have been used in English first in the sense of refreshment or curing of a sick person and derived the term from Latin (re-gain). As such public spaces such as parks and beaches are essential venues for many recreative activities.

Health care for elderly citizen in Sweden

A perusal for literature revealed that health care in Sweden would make it a model of elder health care. For example, since 1980 the health care requirement of the elder generation in Sweden have gone down and have miraculously stayed down, sometimes that very few nations can say. Yet Swedish elders are also living longer than their counterparts in most of the world.

While many nations, especially the U.S.A are left biting their nails in the face of a rapidly ageing society and higher health care expenditures, Sweden just had their manicured. Therefore, the way Sweden take care of the elders is worth looking into.

According to the latest population statistics, Sweden has roughly 9.8 million citizens. Out of which 2 millions are over the age of 65. That is 20% of their current population. By the year 2040, 1 (one) in every 4 (four) Swedish will be over the age of 65. When looking at healthcare in Sweden, why Sweden has such healthy and robust older people?

One find that they placed a high priority in the following areas:-
a) Preventive care,
b) Priority is given to ageing person,
c) Accessibility to home health and practical help services,
d) Physician prescribed physical activity and
e) Timely treatment.

Healthcare in Sweden is a decentralized national healthcare system with a national centre for research and development, a robust national pension agency, and many other associations to help the elder transition with grace and dignity into their final years. They are also facing upcoming challenges to the population demographic swing. But by and large they are just balancing a little here and reshaping a little there.

Sweden’s devolution of grass roots, local participation at elderly healthcare

Since 1992 Sweden’s reform shifted responsibility for elderly care to local municipalities, with country councils overseeing the responsibility to provide home health services rather than a centralized system making general policy decisions for greater good. As a whole, Sweden allocated 3.6% of their GDP to municipal long term elderly health care.

Those funds are then dispersed to raise the competency of municipality. Care managers and workers provides financial incentives to hospitals to reduce the number of unnecessary hospitalization and re-hospitalization. They also delivers pre-cooked meals to homes as part of an ageing in place of incentive.

The emphasis is placed on community involvement, citizen empowerment and public accountability. As a result, Sweden has been able to keep over 90% of their population ageing in place. This has been a major factor in the success of the health care in Sweden for the elderly.

Recreation park for elderly citizen of Imphal City

So far, we have not yet dreamt of for introducing recreation park for elderly citizen of Imphal City. The “Saheed Minar” at B.T. Road, Khwairamband bazaar is not meant for this purpose but male senior citizen of Imphal City are seen sitting on the lawn of the park during rainless evenings. Otherwise, so far no recreation park for the elder citizen has been earmarked in Imphal City.

Recently renovated Kanglapat footpath for morning and evening walk for the elderly citizen of Imphal city is also not upto the mark due to congested vehicular movements. Further, Kangla fort area is good but not accessible for general public.

Very recently introduce mission “Chief minister Gi Hak Sel Gi Tengbang” (21/1/2018 onwards) is praiseworthy for the poor and under privileged group of the Manipuri Society. If another mission such as “ Health Care for elderly Citizen” is introduced by the honourable CM/Manipur, it will be a blessing for the senior citizens of Manipur.


* Dr N Irabanta Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on 17 August, 2018 .


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