The objectives of the study were: (1) To assess the potential available with the retired people who retired at age of 55 years and above. (2) To assess their constraints in extending a helping hand to the society. (3) To work out ways and means to impress on them how they can be of use to the society. (4) To find out the openings, if any, for such people to work.
The hypotheses were: (1) The aged (elders) have inherent potential acquired over ages which can be diverted for the development of the society to which they belong. (2) Education can play a positive role to assess the potential and suggest ways and means of utilizing these potential for the overall benefit of the society.
A questionnaire was developed and administered over a sample of 100 citizen of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh and 90 filled in questionnaires were returned. The members of sample were in the age group of 55 to 70 years.
The tool consisted of eight aspects under three heads: (a) Expectations of elders from family and society, (b) Outlook of elders about life, physical and mental abilities, and (c) Attitudes about elders of elders, society, family, and children.
The study was descriptive survey research.
A five point scale also included to ascertain the opinions.
The findings of the study were: (1) The attitudes of the elders, society and family and its members changed from time to time with their outlook about the life and the physical and mental abilities, particularly with the advent of the industrialization and flight of the people from rural to semi urban and urban and metropolis areas to suit the changed style of living and living standards, fragmentation of families and formation of new units etc. (2) The elders are not able to adjust with the dynamic changes taking place in the society and family and the society, families and its members fail to realize the importance of the elders in the society on whose edifice the societies and families have taken shape, and their work was the basis for the future developments by the present generation. (3) Though the elders were willing to work for the benefit of the society and allow their capacities to be assessed properly and exploited, the society and the family instead of taking advantage of their offer were looked down on elders as waste products and liabilities on the society, unless they are financially sound. (4) Consequently, the importance of chronological age was giving way to social or functional age. (5) Short term advantages were given top preference in comparison to the long term advantages and no proper care of the elders was taken by the society and families, though the beneficiary was to take care of the benefactor. (6) The present society was taking into account the physical weakness only of the elders by extending proper care to the elders but not the utility of their past experience, achievements and their mental capacities. Hence, the elders were not happy in modern families.
Keyword(s): Aid, Geriatry, Non-Formal Education