Thailand has the highest growth rate of elders, and by 2040 it is projected to be ranked number one in elder population in East Asia and the Pacific. In many regions of Thailand, especially rural Issan, elders are already lacking proper infrastructure to care for them. Poverty rates are one of the highest in Issan, and the elders living in poverty suffer the most. As part of our Adopt an Elder program and our collaboration with Laekplain Lokgatat and the local hospital, we have many cases brought to us of elders in need of checking up on and meeting some of their most basic needs. Many of these elders live alone and in dismal conditions; they lack adequate food, necessary supplies such as fans in the summer and blankets in the winter, toilets that are not a part of the house, a thin mattress on the cement floor for a bed, and dangerous electrical wiring. Learn more about elderly in Thailand and our Adopt an Elder program here.
It seems to us that the elder population is a little bit undervalued, and this sentiment should be applied universally, not Thailand specific. Elders are a huge untapped resource! They are basically living history; imagine the lives they have lived and the stories they have to tell. A large part of our Adopt an Elder program is making sure their most basic needs are met, but we also focus on companionship and collection of oral history. Many elders enjoy talking about their lives, and we are very curious to know what life was like 80 years ago and what wisdom they have to impart! Mundo wishes to interview elders and open our ears and minds to their knowledge and memories.
Follow the hashtags #AdoptAnElder and #AskanElder on twitter and instagram for nuggets of wisdom we pick up along the way! (You can also submit questions to ask!)