The Old Age Homes - Are they the last hope of the old people today?


As we are advancing towards a modernized society, we started enjoying everything at our door steps. To take care of our old people, now the concept of Old age Homes has taken shape. Are they really necessary? Are such homes a sign of our social values? Are we sending right signals to the youth of the day? An insight is made to verify the pros and cons of the "Home for the aged".

Introduction


Our society appears to have become self centered and selfishness has occupied a prime place in everyone's life. We have become so busy in our life that time can't be spared to see the welfare of our children and we prefer to put them in a hostel and compromise ourselves saying that in the interest of their education and career. We try to apply the same analogy to our beloved parents also with an idea of getting rid of boredom and loneliness and search for the option of keeping in 'Old age home'. The nuclear family set up by virtue of their profession and other compulsions made the younger generation unable to devote time, care and most importantly lend their ears to the elderly family members.

Even though the dreaded idea of putting their parents or grandparents in old age homes is yet not fully accepted in India, the western culture adopted as a last resort. It creates a barrier between the elders and the children as the former don't want to leave their children and the children make it a last resort for their well being and proper care, according to them. It is our moral responsibility to take care of our parents as in our childhood parents take care of us likewise when we grow up it's our duty to take care of our parents.

We all come across the words 'Homesickness', 'home is where the heart is', and 'there is no place like home'. It is clear and vivid that all human beings are attached to their shelter and would not be comfortable in a new environment. Just imagine the situation where a person was fully engaged with familiar people, kin and a well acquainted environment around him; such a person is all of a sudden shifted to a place which is totally an alien to him with strangers. The known environment is always peaceful, safe and comfortable for everyone, elderly people in particular.

The feeling of ignoring and abandonment


People may think that an old age home will provide companionship and make the comfortable from worldly affairs; but the elderly one would feel disgusted as his family decides to place them in an old age home. This may lead to mental emotions resulting in physical ailments. It is quite common that the parents very often talk about their devotion in raising their children and in their time of need, they were 'lodged' in an old age home. Birds of same feather are made to flock together to share their grievance and experience.

Reasons for resorting to old age homes

  1. Children have no time to take care of their parents due to paucity of time.

  2. Disturbance in family relations especially between daughter-in-law and the old parents.

  3. Parents' attitude towards children seems to be changing with aging process and their feeling that they are being ignored.

  4. Old age homes may give shelter to the old people of the same age group and this may facilitate better companionship to them.


Advantages

  1. Old people would not feel loneliness as their children are away from them and they need not worry about their regular business of cooking and other domestic affairs.

  2. They would get better companionship at the old age centres and can exchange their views and experiences. This enables them to pass on the time in an orderly way.

  3. The widened gap with their children and other kin would reduce as they happen to meet them at regular intervals and in different domestic occasions.

  4. It is a home for peace for the old people which lacks in the joint family approach or either way.


Disadvantages

  1. It should have been a last resort to any family where there is no other option to take care of the old parents. It may be a common factor in all old people as they have gone through different phases of life and brought up their children against all odds. When they have to move out of the place where every atom of it influences them and have to spend their later years in a new environment may lead to depression and put them in mental agony.

  2. At that age, they want to spend with grandchildren and enjoy their success in life. But circumstances may force them to stay away from their bonded family and this would create an unhealthy atmosphere for both parties in the social fabric which, in turn, would steal peace and liberty of both the parties.
  3. For them, home is heaven. They spent their life in serving their kin and experienced the bitterness of life and at the time when they wanted to share their joy with grandchildren are now being put in a cage of similar birds to speak in their language. Any old parent would not be ready to face this struggle in their fag end of his/her life.

  4. Old age homes provide them proper companionship but we are not sure of the medical attention that they need. They interactions with not only with family but outsiders; the mind stays active and they feel comfortable. But, when they miss the family members, there are chances of getting mental depression. There is a well known saying that an empty mind is a devils workshop. It leads to all sorts of ill feelings towards the family creating wide gap between them and family.


  5. At home service Concept

    In order to keep their minds with positive thoughts and bring out a feeling that they are not deserted, it is always better to keep the at-home service option open. The name itself indicates that the service at door-steps and at our comfortable and relaxed environment. These services necessarily involve professionalistic approach in dealing with elderly people and skilled personnel are engaged in such areas. They make them conversant with latest techniques of communication like how to use internet and generate interest in other areas. Moreover, they act like an extended family with trust and homely relations. It helps in keeping them with better relationships and accepting the aging process very gracefully. Instead of incurring expenditure for old age homes and asking the old people to spend their remaining part of the life in a well funded artificial environment, it is better to adopt this concept for their well being.

    Old age homes can't make a difference

    The old age homes, in these days, are not so well maintained. Really, it is disheartening to see old people passing their time by sharing their problems and experience with each other and remembering their good olden days. Those elderly, who are abused by children, may feel the old age home is heaven. After few days, they get diverted and compromise themselves to stay with their kin at home. Whatever pain it may cause, there is no comparison for a home which has the foundation of love and affection and these old age homes can't make a difference. A home is a creation by family, and family is made of our belonging. Yes, for those who do not have any family, old age homes may be a blessing and could be a boon. Having a family and being sent to an old age home, it would be a hell for them, even though much care was taken and may be in a better environment. They feel as if everything is lost and they are no longer needed and just thrown out.

    Wrap up

    It is always better to avoid the old age homes and we always should remember that in our childhood parents take care of us likewise when we grow up it's our duty to take care of our parents. In their old age, Parents should be our first priority and it is our bounden duty to do our best at any cost and keep them happily. After all, roles switch over; one day we will also get old and need our children in the circular process of life!


Article by Jagdish Patro
Jagdish Patro is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to ISC and other websites. Fond of reading books, novels and spends his leisure time by listening to music. He did his B.Sc in Applied Chemistry and his M.Sc in Resource Development Technology. He edited and published an in-house monthly journal by name ‘Srujana’ during 2009-2011 which was totally a private circulation.

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Comments

Author: Naveed Ahmed12 Mar 2014 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

This article is a good demonstration of how our culture is changing to create more space for "old age homes". After all, it is a dynamic entity that keeps on changing with the passage of time. But what the wise say is that one should not forget his past, it is what helps determine the future. When we look back at the past, we find more space for belongingness and care. Relations added more value to these, whereas even unrelated people observed them.

The conclusion is simple, that our parents helped us nurture to the level we are at now, and now it is time we care for the attachment they deserve. Time will surely show us, that we also would have to pass through the same stages of life and our requirements and needs would also be very much the same.



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