Alongside the Pride Month celebration worldwide, Impact Hub Kathmandu collaborated with Bihani Social Venture for June’s What’s Hub session to commemorate June as World Elder Abuse Month. Bihani Social Venture is Nepal’s first social enterprise relentlessly working to foster age and disability inclusive communities focusing on older adults dedicated to promote a society inclusive of elders.
The roundtable discussion aimed to shed light on the critical issue of elder abuse, raise awareness about its prevalence, and foster collaborative efforts towards its prevention with Bihani Social Venture. The session was led by Santoshi Rana, the founder and director at Bihani, Susmriti Bomjom Tamang, head of programs and Abhishek Adhikari, program officer at Bihani. Bihani Social Venture led the discourse on ageing and introduced Impact Hub community to complexities of ageing and the topic of Elder Abuse. The session provided a valuable opportunity for all of us to challenge our misconceptions about ageing and challenge our internalized biases regarding aging and Elder Abuse. In the words of Bihani: “Ageism can be as pervasive as sexism or racism.”
The population is ageing worldwide so there will be a higher demand for professional and inclusive care in the future. According to a blog post by Bihani, Context of Ageing, the number of people aged 60 years or older will rise from 900 million to 2 billion between 2015 and 2050 (moving from 12% to 22% of the total global population). The representatives of Bihani helped us navigate how ageing is a topic relevant to all of us and how we can age with dignity.
Besides this trend the necessity for more awareness about ageing and Elder Abuse is simple: All of us grow old and it is an inevitable process. Throughout the session Bihani emphasized that despite this general truth, preparation for our own retirement and care of elders get little attention compared to other social problems around us. This was a huge realization for most of us to reflect on our own preparedness.
Another main aspect of the session was learning about the different types of Elder Abuse and how abuse is a relevant topic both for the elders AND the caregivers. Learning about the different types of abuse revealed how complex the challenges of caretakers and elders can be. They also shed light on ageing with disability, various forms of dementia and social isolation. The representatives of Bihani also outlined the government policies for us which constitute a useful framework for care of elders but still lack proper execution – also due to lack of awareness amongst individuals and organizations.
Learning about the topic of Ageing and Elder Abuse was highly beneficial for all participants as the topic often gets little to no attention in relation to its importance. Bihani Social Venture has diverse activities and services catering to the needs of individuals above the age of 50 years and a support system for families and caregivers working with elders. If you want to start learning more about Ageing in Nepal and Bihani Social Venture’s work visit their website for more information or pay them a visit at their center in Dhobighat!
By Mathis Rauland