Written by: Madbouly Atman
In the weekly meeting at the café with the friends of Madinat Al-Qanater Al-Khairia, we used to set a topic for discussion so that the time would be useful. While we were discussing the issue of the elderly and the material and moral grievances they suffer after “parking them on the shelf,” one of the attendees shouted: “I have been living in complete loneliness for many years after my wife’s death.. Most of the time in a state of isolation.. I eat alone.. I sleep alone.” I sit alone.. I spend many hours on the internet. When one of the attendees asked him about his children, he replied: “God help them, they were busy with their work and their children.. They offered me to stay with one of them in his apartment, but I refused.” Here it becomes clear that there are problems that the elderly suffer from that are more important than illness and financial need, and they are the problems of loneliness and emptiness. A sitting person offered a solution by suggesting that every two or three elderly people who live in close quarters meet to live together in one apartment to solve the problem of isolation provided that they share the cost of living. But the proposal was rejected due to the different nature, way of thinking and way of living of each person from the other. Here, I presented to them the practical experiences of some elderly people who invested their time in a correct manner and eliminated the problems of loneliness and emptiness. Some of them search for a job opportunity in the private sector and spend most of their day working, communicating with people during work, and on the way back and forth. I know some pensioners who are still working even though they are over 75 years old. I know some elderly people who have engaged in charitable work, either individually or through charities officially registered with the Ministry of Solidarity. They spend most of their time meeting the needs of the poor, the needy and the sick who are unable, and presenting their cases after studying them in the field to the charitable people who donate generously because they see well-studied and documented cases, and also for their confidence in the sincerity and honesty of those who collect these donations. And I met some elderly people working in charities and they are satisfied because their work benefits them in this world and in the hereafter. I present here a successful individual experience of a friend who contributed a lot in treating and relieving the pain of poor patients who visit government hospitals, and this experience can be carried out in every village and in every city. This friend of mine knew by virtue of his work that government hospitals have suffered for many years from a lack of medicine and medical supplies. So he thought of a way to provide it, and God granted him the idea of visiting emergency departments, intensive care units, and dialysis centers in government hospitals and asking them about the names of the medicines and medical supplies they lacked. Then he writes it on his Facebook page and does not ask for a donation of money, but asks those who can buy some and deliver it to the hospital. Thanks to God, and then with his dedication and effort, a large team volunteered with him, and they are currently filling the shortage of medicine and medical supplies in government hospitals with hundreds of thousands of pounds. There are even donations through them of advanced medical devices. There is also a role for the government that it must hurry to play in order to properly fill the leisure time of the elderly. It is necessary to set up a club in every city for the elderly that contains sessions, a restaurant, playgrounds for sports that suit them, and a library. Subscription to the club is free for all elderly people. And that these clubs are established under the supervision of the General Authority for Insurance, and are funded from insurance contributions paid by citizens, and thus do not burden the state budget. And if the Ministry of Youth sets up youth centers and clubs in every city and village in Egypt. Why does the General Authority for Insurance not play this role with the elderly, especially since this will be done with the participants’ money, and the state budget will not cost one pound. I call on members of the People’s Assembly and the Senate to submit a bill to establish these clubs for the elderly, and we are ready to help them draft the bill from legal experts, and provide them with a feasibility study from accountants and experts, all of whom are volunteers and the elderly.