BEING an old is the fact that we cannot refuse, but how we lived in the elderly life is our choice. We can life lively and active as a part of our society, otherwise, we can just wait for the time limit and forgotten. For the same reason, Government through national Committee for Elderly starts to put the aging as society assets and make sure that they have better life.
Komite Nasional Lansia (Komnas Lansia) or National Committee for Elderly was formed by Keppres 52/2004 about National Committee for Elderly that manifestation from UU No. 13/98 about elderly security. The committee was a coordinating organization between government and society in order to improve elderly security. Its main duty is to help President to coordinate social security for elderly and as a president counsellor to regulate elderly social security.
Indonesia has rapid elderly age growth, even faster than any age category. According to Central of Statistic Biro or Biro Pusat Statistik (BPS) in 2007, Indonesian elderly citizen has reached 18.96 millions of people or 8.42% from total Indonesian citizen. This year, at 2009, its amount is predicted more than 20 millions of people with its majority lived at the rural areas with their minimum life support. The inconvenient facts lead to higher the elderly dependable ratio, it is recorded in 2007 a number 13.52, which indicate every 100 Indonesian people in productive age have to take care 13 elderly people.
“It is a relief from the elderly problem that they do not like to be unemployed. About 80 percent of them, more or less, still keep their activities. Its was showed by employment rate at elderly age that reach 72.26% in rural area and 51.61% in a bigger city.” General Secretary of Said the National Committee for Elderly, Toni Hartono. Moreover, he added that most of the elderly people still have significant affect in their home. It is recorded in 2007 that 82.42% men still have been the head of the family and 32% are women.
Those facts are leading us to the new perspective to elderly; we need to put them as an asset not a leftover. Indonesian government was fully aware of this phenomenon and through National Committee for Elderly, they are trying to improve the life quality of elderly people.
The committee has the ability to coordinate related government department or other institution and society institution in order to acknowledge elderly needs and fulfil them. To get through to national elderly problem, the committee form regional committee, which coordinating with regional government. There are 27 regional committees in 27 provinces throughout Indonesia.
Other committees’ tasks are to socialize government regulation and law about elderly people and to get rid negative stigmas for elderly people. “We know that most of us still did not aware of the importance of elderly people. Many of us still saw the elderly cannot do a thing properly, but as matter of fact we the one who did not understand to their needs. If we understand about their needs and provide them with proper goods or services, we can find their positive contribution to the society.” Said Toni Hartono.
Elderly people are same as other human as part of the society. They still have the courage and spirit to live lively in their old age. Moreover, they still want to be a part of society and contribute positive contribution to it. Pay attention to their need and want, give them proper tools, then they will live happily and contribute a positive contribution to the society as well. (Andreas Setiadi)
Jakarta Globe, November 13, 2009