Working for Change 137
Community services for older women. By working together,
older women can encourage their communities to:
• create less costly housing for older women, or form groups
that live together to cut down on living expenses.
• include older women in nutrition programs.
• train health workers in the special health needs of older
Older women can teach others. Older women are the main
keepers of traditional healing practices, and only they can pass
on this knowledge to the next generation. To preserve these
practices and remind others that older women
have important skills, women can
teach these practices to their
children and grandchildren.
Older women can also
help health workers
learn traditional healing
practices, so that health
workers can use the
best methods of both
traditional and modern
Changing government policies and laws. Many governments
provide monthly income (pensions), housing, and health care
for older people. If your government does not, try to work
together with other women to change these laws. This kind
of change takes time. But even if a woman does not see the
changes herself, she will know she has worked toward a better
life for her daughters and grand-daughters.
➤ Older women have
much wisdom and
together can make
them very powerful.
Every culture has a system of beliefs about death and ideas about life after
death. These ideas, beliefs, and traditions may comfort a person facing death. But
she also needs support, kindness, and honesty from her loved ones.
You can help a dying person most by listening to her feelings and needs. If
she wants to die at home—surrounded by the people she loves—rather than in
a hospital, try to respect her wishes. If she wants to talk about death, try to be
honest. Anyone who is dying usually knows it, partly by what her body tells her,
and partly by the reactions she sees in those she loves. Let her talk openly about
her fears, and about the joys and sorrows in her life. This way, when death comes,
she may more easily accept it as the natural end of life.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012