Are Old Age Homes the In-Thing Today?

Going by today’s standards, old age homes are not scandalous any more! What was once considered as an unimaginable thought or action is now a most convenient reality. More and more people are thinking of and many are opting to put their aged parents in old age homes. It just seems the right thing to do, leaving couples free to pursue their careers, party around or go for vacations without the nagging thought of an aged parent at home.

People favoring old age homes justify their decisions with several points. They say that the presence of old parents at home is too much trouble. There is no room for privacy. They have to constantly tend to them when they are sick. Bringing friends home becomes embarrassing. Going on a holiday becomes an impossible reality. Oof! So many problems just to have elderly parents around!

But all justifications fall flat when we realize that the old parents we are talking about as ‘problems’ are the very people who took care of us whenever we fell sick. These people sacrificed outings, friends and vacations only to make us feel happy, wanted and part of the family. They did not ponder much about lack of privacy whenever we barged into their romantic rendezvous. They did it all for Us! Is this how we pay back? By dumping them in old age homes?

Okay, times have changed. Now, both parents might have to work to run the home. Maybe, we don’t want to miss out on our promotions. After all, the money from that promotion will also be used to give parents a ‘better old age home!!’ And now-a-days, old age homes are all spruced up like hotels with all facilities including medicine and entertainment readily available. Fine, but pray tell me, if we have the time to party, if we have the time to watch television can we not find a little time for our parents at home? Is it too much to ask for? Old age homes may provide all material requirements but surely, we are wise enough( or are we?!) to understand that an old age home cannot fill in the vacuum of love and affection that only a family can provide. Even if we call them every other day, can the phone call fulfill the anticipations and expectation that a parent has to meet his/her son or/and daughter?

There are some senior citizens who have resigned to their lonely fate with their children busy working or settled elsewhere. Some even save up for such homes so they don’t have to be dependent on their children. An indifferent institution seems a better option than bitter nostalgia and loneliness at home. But, can an old age home replace the warmth of a real home filled with the presence of one’s kith and kin? Can the professionalism of a senior citizen centre take the place of a child?

On the other side, there is no denying the fact that some cynical elderly parents have spoiled the lives of their adult children. Many marriages have been destroyed due to the constant interference of these people. Still, dumping them in an old age home is not and cannot be a permanent solution. Is slogging away at work or even enjoying life to the hilt really worth it at the cost of losing out on one’s parents? We are what we are today because of them. Of course, not all possess a generous heart, great patience or even remember their duties when it comes to taking care of old parents.

But we need to remember that life runs full circle. What we give comes back to us. And, history could repeat itself!

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45 thoughts on “Are Old Age Homes the In-Thing Today?

  1. Really thought provoking one indeed.

    Near my house, an old man aged 100 yrs is staying alone in a flat as his grand daughter was not willing to live in the same house due to constant ‘interferences’ from him in her personal affairs. His son sends food and an attendant takes care of him during night. During day time he stays alone. This is the present trend in our society.

    Old people also face lot of problems in old age homes such as poor maintenance, problems caused by care taker / companions etc. They start searching for some other old age home and this goes on…..

    Really scared to think of the situation in the next decades….

  2. Thanks Hari. This is something almost all of us need to reflect about, whether we are son, daughter or parent.

    Why are people behaving the way they are? A mistake on the part of the parents.
    Selfishness on the part of the children?

    We need to re-think our priorities again. We need to reflect on our values once again.

  3. Very disturbing. I was hoping that the concept ‘Old age homes’ would not come to us Indians howsoever much we try to mimic the West. I guess it is a natural process of societies as they evolve. In our efforts to constantly improve and improvise our lives we become so selfish to overlook our very own near ones!
    A must keep in your child’s childhood keepsake should be ‘The Giving Tree’ of Shel Silverstein as a rude reminder how the child kept coming back for more even after the tree had grown old and turned into a stump.
    Eventhough we are a patriarchically oriented family, my mother and her sister were just two daughters for my maternal grandparents. My mother’s parents moved with her toward the end of their old age years when her father felt that no longer it was easy to live by themselves (as they became gullible to strangers and unable to do baisc tasks by themselves). Her father (my nana) passed away last year and her mother (nani) lives with her still. A very alert lady and worldly wise, she continues to be a positive addition and contributor to the family.
    It is this learning that my mother is passing on to us, to support or ageing ones in their time of need!

  4. Very biased and one sided post.

    Is it only the adult children who decide that parents should go and live in some old age home? Some parents prefer it too. Thousands of desis have brought their perfectly healthy parents (late 50s and early 60s) abroad in the name of taking care of them. Here these parents are isolated from their own community sitting in suburbs unable to drive and are dependent on their adult children for everything. They baby sit grand kids who are teenagers detesting any chaperoning. The only way to pass time is to wait and long to talk that ultimately turns into interferences and poking nose.

    Is it possible for adult children to come back to India and live in small towns with there parents lived or raised them? Will they be able to find any job there in those hinterlands?

    There are parents who do not interfere in the lives of their adult children and also cherish their own freedom. My brother asked my parents to come and live with him abroad. My parents just refused. For them visiting for few weeks is good but they prefer their independence in Des. Where they have a life and come and go on their own will. We are yet to figure out late life details.

    Gone are the days when personal boundary invasions in the name of love and tradition were still workable now even parents deserve to have an option to baby sit rather than being forced to baby sit.

    Peace,

    Desi Girl

  5. The number of people settling abroad has given rise to the increase in the number of old age homes and the people occupying them. Here in Singapore people employ live in maids to take care of the elderly.That way they get the comforts of the home and at the same time do not affect the careers of their children or children-in-law.During trying times in life the experienced words of comfort or the mere presence of an elderly person can make a lot of difference.For instance in the way we handle our kids. Their advise is better than the best websites and books combined. People with parents in old age homes would be missing out on all this.

  6. Hi Shail.

    Well, talking about ‘old age homes’, it is a norm abroad. People there are more practical compared to their Indian counterparts. I do not know but I think modern (postmodern?) lifestyles are making us think the other way, and an old age home does not anymore mean the stereotypical oh-i’m-sorry-i’m-dumping-you syndrome.

    I’m not taking sides here, nor am I saying what is better : being practical or emotional. I’ve always maintained that a blend of both is what it takes.

    Shail, if the one side you present about adults wanting to put their parents in an old age home, the other side is also there, and it cannot be ignored. I’ve personally seen some parents who are very fussy and interference is the name of the game. In most cases, wives suffer from various stress related lifestyle diseases. Many of the women I’ve spoken to are fed up of their in-laws simply because of the nagging nature. To set the record straight, I’ve had personal experiences of seeing would be mother-in-law’s behavior.

    I don’t know if a Utopia is ever possible. I don’t think it is. But it takes an effort from both sides. I don’t mean ‘space’ to the extent that there is a wide void of nothingness. But parents need to respect the presence of someone else in their son’s life (I’m saying this because the Indian system is unfair in the sense that the woman has to leave her house and go to another house) I don’t know how good a thing this is. This is because if you try going and sitting in your neighbour’s house, things are so different that you feel stifled after a point. And every house has its said as well as unsaid rules.

    Here, parents need to tone down and be a little more accepting. Children need to be sensitive too and spend maybe a weekend morning sipping tea with the parents. No child would like to send the parents to an old age home, Shail. One cannot glorify just one side, every coin even has two sides to it.

    So if not Utopia, a little give and a little take is the key.

    Sneha.S.K.

  7. Old age homes are a harsh reality these days… But I’ve seen people
    harrassing their parents so much, that I felt an old age home would
    have been better for them.

    I feel sad for the people who work all their lives to feed their kids
    and in turn get sent to old age homes by them.

    One point that I found missing in the post was that old people help in
    a big way in bringing up grandchildren. Teaching them all the sanskars
    and discipline. Afterall they have all the experience of the world!

    All in all a thought provoking post. Well done Shail.

  8. Beyniaz :

    Well written, Shail. Brings up disturbing issues that cannot be wished away.

    Hi Beyni,

    Nice of you to comment. Yes, issues like these really can’t be wished away as the problem does not get solved with old age homes!

  9. rose :

    Very disturbing. I was hoping that the concept ‘Old age homes’ would not come to us Indians howsoever much we try to mimic the West. I guess it is a natural process of societies as they evolve. In our efforts to constantly improve and improvise our lives we become so selfish to overlook our very own near ones!
    A must keep in your child’s childhood keepsake should be ‘The Giving Tree’ of Shel Silverstein as a rude reminder how the child kept coming back for more even after the tree had grown old and turned into a stump.
    Eventhough we are a patriarchically oriented family, my mother and her sister were just two daughters for my maternal grandparents. My mother’s parents moved with her toward the end of their old age years when her father felt that no longer it was easy to live by themselves (as they became gullible to strangers and unable to do baisc tasks by themselves). Her father (my nana) passed away last year and her mother (nani) lives with her still. A very alert lady and worldly wise, she continues to be a positive addition and contributor to the family.
    It is this learning that my mother is passing on to us, to support or ageing ones in their time of need!

    Hi Rose,

    So nice of you to share your views. Yes, many a time it is the girl who manages to take care of her parents even though she is the one to leave the house because of marriage. I am glad to know that your Nana and Nani lived with your mother. The presence of an elderly parent in the household is always a great treasure, something that many of us don’t realize.

  10. Saurabh Panshikar :

    Old age homes are a harsh reality these days… But I’ve seen people
    harrassing their parents so much, that I felt an old age home would
    have been better for them.

    I feel sad for the people who work all their lives to feed their kids
    and in turn get sent to old age homes by them.

    One point that I found missing in the post was that old people help in
    a big way in bringing up grandchildren. Teaching them all the sanskars
    and discipline. Afterall they have all the experience of the world!

    All in all a thought provoking post. Well done Shail.

    Hi Saurabh,

    Yes, sometimes, it is better that old parents live in old age homes to avoid humiliation from their children. But not all old age institutions are good and health (physically and mentally) and the very best cannot be afforded by the poor and the middle class.

    It is so nice to see you mention of the values that parents teach their grandchildren. I have seen the movie Baaghbaan and still get moved when I see it. The children must realize this. Sadly, they only keep their parents at home to make use of them to pick up their children from school or baby sit them. A real pity.

  11. girlsguidetosurvival :

    Very biased and one sided post.

    Is it only the adult children who decide that parents should go and live in some old age home? Some parents prefer it too. Thousands of desis have brought their perfectly healthy parents (late 50s and early 60s) abroad in the name of taking care of them. Here these parents are isolated from their own community sitting in suburbs unable to drive and are dependent on their adult children for everything. They baby sit grand kids who are teenagers detesting any chaperoning. The only way to pass time is to wait and long to talk that ultimately turns into interferences and poking nose.

    Is it possible for adult children to come back to India and live in small towns with there parents lived or raised them? Will they be able to find any job there in those hinterlands?

    There are parents who do not interfere in the lives of their adult children and also cherish their own freedom. My brother asked my parents to come and live with him abroad. My parents just refused. For them visiting for few weeks is good but they prefer their independence in Des. Where they have a life and come and go on their own will. We are yet to figure out late life details.

    Gone are the days when personal boundary invasions in the name of love and tradition were still workable now even parents deserve to have an option to baby sit rather than being forced to baby sit.

    Peace,

    Desi Girl

    Dear V,

    Yes, as you rightly say, even parents have a right to decide whether they wish to live with their children or not. I know of many people who have already invested in institutions that will take care of them permanently whenever the need arises.
    But even in the case of children taking their parents abroad as you have mentioned only to make them baby sit their children, it is an amicable compromise between children and parents. At least, both are together! The parents take care of their grandchildren and are taken care of in return. So, both know what they are in for. So, although it may seem mean, the parents are still in the environment of a family even if their independence has been restricted. For parents who prefer to live alone while their children stay away, it is their personal choice but for how long is what I ask. Till they have not aged much, till there is someone to look after them (maid, nurse, whoever – not their children of course!)it is fine. After that what?

    Wait to hear that they met with an accident?
    Wait to hear that they died? Alone?

    I know it is not practical for children to take their parents with them all the time especially when it is out of the country or even another city due to problems ofaccomodation, etc. But, does an old age institution solve the problem? Either way, whether it is the parent’s decision (which is not always) or the child’s decision, an old age home is definitely not the ideal place for an aged soul to live his/her life.

    Peace to you too.
    Shail

  12. Jayashree Soundararajan :

    The number of people settling abroad has given rise to the increase in the number of old age homes and the people occupying them. Here in Singapore people employ live in maids to take care of the elderly.That way they get the comforts of the home and at the same time do not affect the careers of their children or children-in-law.During trying times in life the experienced words of comfort or the mere presence of an elderly person can make a lot of difference.For instance in the way we handle our kids. Their advise is better than the best websites and books combined. People with parents in old age homes would be missing out on all this.

    Hi Jayashree,

    I agree fully with you when you say that the presence of an elderly person can make a great difference in one’s life. Even if they can appear to be cynical and resentful of certain things, there is no denying the fact that old age homes are not the place for the elderly. However, impractical it may seem, I still feel that if our parents are able to spend their retired lives with their children there is no greater joy. As younger people, we should be able to bend. How can we expect an already bent person (with age and time) to bend more?

  13. Sneha :

    Hi Shail.

    Well, talking about ‘old age homes’, it is a norm abroad. People there are more practical compared to their Indian counterparts. I do not know but I think modern (postmodern?) lifestyles are making us think the other way, and an old age home does not anymore mean the stereotypical oh-i’m-sorry-i’m-dumping-you syndrome.

    I’m not taking sides here, nor am I saying what is better : being practical or emotional. I’ve always maintained that a blend of both is what it takes.

    Shail, if the one side you present about adults wanting to put their parents in an old age home, the other side is also there, and it cannot be ignored. I’ve personally seen some parents who are very fussy and interference is the name of the game. In most cases, wives suffer from various stress related lifestyle diseases. Many of the women I’ve spoken to are fed up of their in-laws simply because of the nagging nature. To set the record straight, I’ve had personal experiences of seeing would be mother-in-law’s behavior.

    I don’t know if a Utopia is ever possible. I don’t think it is. But it takes an effort from both sides. I don’t mean ‘space’ to the extent that there is a wide void of nothingness. But parents need to respect the presence of someone else in their son’s life (I’m saying this because the Indian system is unfair in the sense that the woman has to leave her house and go to another house) I don’t know how good a thing this is. This is because if you try going and sitting in your neighbour’s house, things are so different that you feel stifled after a point. And every house has its said as well as unsaid rules.

    Here, parents need to tone down and be a little more accepting. Children need to be sensitive too and spend maybe a weekend morning sipping tea with the parents. No child would like to send the parents to an old age home, Shail. One cannot glorify just one side, every coin even has two sides to it.

    So if not Utopia, a little give and a little take is the key.

    Sneha.S.K.

    Hi Sneha,

    So, the other side of the coin speaks eh? Well, yes, a parent needs to be more accepting of the spouse of his/her son/daughter. True. It does not always happen. But, conflicts arise when the husband or the wife is not willing to take a stand. When he/she is not able to say, “Hey Ma/Pa! I think what you said hurt my wife/husband. Most of the time, you have a Mamma’s boy only aggravating the problems. Surely, he is mature enough to let his parents know that there are some things that can be sorted out without their advice. But no, he will stay mum. I mentioned this because you only mentioned about the first woman in a man’s life. You left out the first man and woman in a daughter’s life! So, what if a woman’s parents are being thrown out by her brother? What if she is an only child? Will she have the guts to tell her husband/boyfriend that she wants her parents to be well cared of at home? Will she make the compromise and do away with them only to save a future relationship.
    After all, these oldies have lived their life as some people insensitively say.

    The issue is not glorified. It is just not the right thing to do. Today, we may do it with our parents/in laws. Tomorrow we may be thrown out ourselves. It is easy to say that one will voluntarily go to one such institution but who wants to leave the warmth and comfort of a home? Life with its twists and turns never spares anyone.

  14. I’ve seen families where both mother-in-law and daughter-in-law are independently very good natured people, but are not able to cope up with each other. Always, there is tension in the house and everybody gets stressed. Parents, at their old age, cannot be left alone also. So, I feel, the society should start considering old age homes as a good option. I know, old age homes, in no way, be equal to being with own kith and kin. But, atleast, there will be peace, right?

    See, olden times, there were joint families, and there was nothing like ‘taking care of elders’. Elders were just living in their houses with so many people people around. But now, with nuclear familes and both husband and wife going for work, don’t you think, it is really very difficult to take care of elders.

    I know whatever justification we give, it is really very difficult to just send the elders to old age home. but, as someone has already written, I think this is a harsh reality these days and we have to face it.

  15. Hi Jaya,

    Thanks for sharing your views. Yes, definitely, old age homes are definitely a harsh reality but need not be a compulsory occurrence for all. Yes, earlier as you rightly mentioned, joint families indeed served as a cushion for anything harsh ( emotions or healthwise) for elderly parents. Today, unfortunately, that is not there. And, expectations of both parents and children have changed over time. The parents want more of their children while the children want less of them. It’s like, “Hey man! you have done enough for us. Now just back off!’
    Why can’t it be “Hey! you have cared for us uptil now. Now it is our turn!”

    If a couple works, surely they can spend enough money to have a person to take care of their old parent/s at home? Or is that too much of an expense for an oldie?

    Yes, it is very difficult to take care of old parents but it is not an impossible task. We just need to have our priorities right. No elderly person deserves to live alone (unless it is his/her own decision) whatever might be his/her nature.

  16. Correct, Shail. I have the biggest example of my life. My nani lived with us and mom always tried to give her the best. Mom married my dad who is a South Indian and nani was from Karachi (she came during the war) The food habits were different, but mom striked a balance. So yes, I agree with you.
    It takes a little bit of understanding and sensitivity from both parties.

  17. Yes Shail another timely topic in the tradition of 4iw!

    Just yesterday I heard from a younger cousin of mine – a widowed single mother with an only son studying in New York- that her mother who is in her early seventies has moved from an independent existence in Hyderabad(husband died a few years ago) to a senior citizen’s enclave in Coimbatore with the blessings of all her other near and dear ones of which there are many but not one whom she could really stay with or have stay with her.There was no option.The daughter could n’t come back to look after her nor was going to the US an option for the mother.I can’t say we weren’t taken aback but needs must I suppose with everyone concurring!
    so I gather every case is different.The compulsions too.It doesn’t mean the children don’t care or the parent is difficult!
    sreelata

  18. Hi Sreelata,

    Yes, needs vary from person to person but it really is sad when an old person has to be wrenched away from his/her family only because there is no one to take care of them when they really need them. It is only when things go from bad to worse do the children put the parents in old age homes or the parents themselves decide to shift in there. What I am saying is why allow such a situation to come up itself? Surely our parents did not bring us up to dump them in institutions when they have become frail and dependent or why are situations created for them so much so that they have to move out?

    Nice that you liked the post Sreelata.

  19. Sneha :
    Correct, Shail. I have the biggest example of my life. My nani lived with us and mom always tried to give her the best. Mom married my dad who is a South Indian and nani was from Karachi (she came during the war) The food habits were different, but mom striked a balance. So yes, I agree with you.
    It takes a little bit of understanding and sensitivity from both parties.

    Hi Sneha,

    Yes, understanding and flexibility is what makes the balance. And you won’t regret having bent a little to make space for the elderly in your life.

  20. …an old age home is definitely not the ideal place for an aged soul to live his/her life.
    Then what about people like me who have decided not to have biological children or even the adopted ones? So do people sire kids for old age care. I have personally faced my own demons about this issue. What are we single women by choice or otherwise do?
    In these fast urbanizing times what could be the solution.

    About adult children taking parents to foreign countries even if it is consensual is still not consensual as there is no other option available. Either lack of alternative care options or either party or both parties don’t want to opt for it due to tradition or Log Kya kahenge? (what will faceless strangers say). Ask those teenagers who detest being watched over by those two pairs of eyes all the time. It becomes problematic when elderly parents start questioning childcare practices of their adult children. Forgetting that they have done their job with their kids now it is for their kids to raise their kids in their own way.
    Ask those old eyes waiting for sunday to go grocery shopping to desi store. Situation of old desi women is bad because some do not even speak English so cannot even go out on their own. Old Desi men if they speak English go out to public library but that is also possible if the library is near by.
    Ask those adult children who feel emarassed at strange and intruding questions their parents ask when they take them to friends or gatherings. It is not what it seems to be on the face value. The problem is with lack of personal boundaries. I do not know what could be the solution? May be every one learning how to mind their tounges and boundaries so that everyone can live in harmony. Peace,

    Desi Girl

  21. I liked ur ending phrase: what goes around, comes around too…
    A lot of ppl dont realise it…

    There are 2 sides to the story. Sometimes as u said, the parents can be very interfering and destroy the sanity of the children. Sometimes on the other hand, the children can be unnecessarily selfish and ignore the parents anyway. So where does one draw the line?
    I think a bit of space would help. There should be some invisible lines drawn on the level of interference in lifestyles. At the same time I think its a blessing if parents are around within reaching distance in terms of a crisis. It all depends on what kind of a relationship the parents share with the kids…and vice versa.

  22. Hi Ashwathy,

    You are absolutely right. When there is space, when both sides come forward to give the space then things run fine. It is when either/ both side/s becomes adamant, inflexible and insensitive do problems begin.

    And yes, as you mentioned, the relationship that parents share with their kids matter.

  23. girlsguidetosurvival :

    …an old age home is definitely not the ideal place for an aged soul to live his/her life.
    Then what about people like me who have decided not to have biological children or even the adopted ones? So do people sire kids for old age care. I have personally faced my own demons about this issue. What are we single women by choice or otherwise do?
    In these fast urbanizing times what could be the solution.

    About adult children taking parents to foreign countries even if it is consensual is still not consensual as there is no other option available. Either lack of alternative care options or either party or both parties don’t want to opt for it due to tradition or Log Kya kahenge? (what will faceless strangers say). Ask those teenagers who detest being watched over by those two pairs of eyes all the time. It becomes problematic when elderly parents start questioning childcare practices of their adult children. Forgetting that they have done their job with their kids now it is for their kids to raise their kids in their own way.
    Ask those old eyes waiting for sunday to go grocery shopping to desi store. Situation of old desi women is bad because some do not even speak English so cannot even go out on their own. Old Desi men if they speak English go out to public library but that is also possible if the library is near by.
    Ask those adult children who feel emarassed at strange and intruding questions their parents ask when they take them to friends or gatherings. It is not what it seems to be on the face value. The problem is with lack of personal boundaries. I do not know what could be the solution? May be every one learning how to mind their tounges and boundaries so that everyone can live in harmony. Peace,

    Desi Girl

    Hi V,

    For persons like you who do not want children but do worry about the aged future, then of course, the issue becomes completely different. You have to make an alternative for the present independent style of lifestyle by booking yourself in one such situation. This particular post of mine is mainly about parents with children who get to live in old age homes.

    About the grandchildren being embarrassed to introduce their grandparents to others – it only speaks volumes of the way their own parents have brought them up, never having bothered to counsel them of the fact that their grandparents have lived all their lives in another place, many many years ago so, they tend to think and behave differently. But, they are still their grandparents and need the emotional support as they are old now.

    Yes, I agree that if people learnt to be a wee bit more flexible and patient with one another things would indeed be in harmony. This for both parents and children.

  24. Nice post which shows the present society’s mind-set, as always!

    I am for not the old age people to be in Old Age homes, so do my husband.
    We are looking after my mil, who is 86 years old. It is our duty isn’t it!
    I am the only child to my parents. My husband says that we should move over to India, to look after them, as they don’t feel comfortable here.
    As for ourselves, we had decided not to be a burden to our children..and we don’t know what future holds, right?

    Bhargavi

  25. Bhargavi :
    Nice post which shows the present society’s mind-set, as always!
    I am for not the old age people to be in Old Age homes, so do my husband.
    We are looking after my mil, who is 86 years old. It is our duty isn’t it!
    I am the only child to my parents. My husband says that we should move over to India, to look after them, as they don’t feel comfortable here.
    As for ourselves, we had decided not to be a burden to our children..and we don’t know what future holds, right?
    Bhargavi

    Hi Bhargavi,

    So nice that you are still taking care of your aged MIL. Not all do it you know. I personally feel whether out of duty or out of affection, we must do it. I know, people have their experiences- bitter/sweet. Still, as you say, we need to give back to our parents at least part of all the goodness they have bestowed upon us. And yes, we don’t know what the future holds. When we are hale and hearty it is all very easy for us to say but tomorrow…. is another story:)

  26. Hi Shailji,

    The warmth and love the home we’ve stayed in exudes CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be replaced by the drab aura an old age home has. Perhaps, drab isn’t the word, because even when abandoned there, there is some love though not from the kith and kin. Its unthinkable to me that the love and care given to the younger all through his/her life by the older is forgotten in an instant when money or heights of privacy take priority in life. After all, they did give privacy, but enquiring into the life of their loved one isn’t a sin. If you’re settled abroad, or working elsewhere, it doesn’t mean an old age home is an option. That home where we grew up, where their love enriched our life, that can still exude love better than an old age home for certain. And a long call, enquiring of their well being, a few words from the heart that tell how you miss them.. that can put a smile on their face anytime.. Life runs full circle indeed.. how you treat them might be how your kids treat you. That’s a lovely poignant way to end the post.

    Thank you for sharing this..

    Leo.

  27. Even if the parents sent their child to a Creche during their ‘prime’, still the child after growing up, should not reciprocate by sending his parents to an old age home. Sure, old age homes resemble hotel rooms or holiday resorts and resembles a virtual home, still it is “virtual” and the real happiness of living in a family is lost.

    No one can deny the fact that the experience of the elderly people counts on emergency situations, meticulous planning for big functions or feasts and on innumerable day to day activities. As you said Shail, it was these oldies who brought us up and made us what we are today. Except in rare cases where the young couple with kids are forced to go abroad for jobs, there can be no justification for sending the parents to old age homes. If anyone does so, including me, its pure BETRAYAL.

  28. Thanks Balaji. I am happy that many amongst us still feel that the right place for parents is their own home. Conflicts, arguments take place in every household. As long as they don’t mentally and emotionally strangulate a person, I think both the generations can live together in harmony.

  29. Yes Balaji. Today’s youth are asking very ‘incovenient’ questions as to why they should sacrifice their life for the sake of old people. They are demanding why they should not be sent to old aged homes where they can live in comfort and in good company.

    My friend has kept his mother confined in a room with attendants to take care of her in three shifts. He has not met her for the last three months though he lives in the same house. He says why I should meet her when all her needs are taken care of.

    My neighbour’s close relation died while staying in old aged home. He told the manager to do the last rites and arranged the required funds thro fund transfer.

    This is the reality….

  30. True Hari. Reality is very hard on the emotions, mind and heart. But what to do? People are like that. They forget the sacrifices their parents had done for them.

    However, when I wrote about something similar on a site which has many senior citizens as readers and writers, I was astonished to find many of them open to the idea of living in an old age home. Of course, most of them are well off. But, there is a contradiction even there. They want to live in one such ‘institution’ as they call it themselves but don’t want the same for their parents!

  31. I also live in a joint family. Conflicts do arise. Its a question of patience, tolerance and proper co-ordination on the part of both the old and the young. The instances pointed out by Hari reminds me of one such old woman who was in the late 80s living with her sister two years elder to her. They were looking after their daily chores, though it was very very difficult for them. The elder one, who had a son, passed away and the other lady was left in the lurch. She was literally dumped into an old age where she spent a year and passed away. The Home arranged for the rites. Are we so stone-hearted and don’t have some hours to spare even to attend their funeral? Tough times ahead!

  32. J. Balaji :

    I also live in a joint family. Conflicts do arise. Its a question of patience, tolerance and proper co-ordination on the part of both the old and the young. The instances pointed out by Hari reminds me of one such old woman who was in the late 80s living with her sister two years elder to her. They were looking after their daily chores, though it was very very difficult for them. The elder one, who had a son, passed away and the other lady was left in the lurch. She was literally dumped into an old age where she spent a year and passed away. The Home arranged for the rites. Are we so stone-hearted and don’t have some hours to spare even to attend their funeral? Tough times ahead!

    Hi Balaji,

    We have become a stone hearted world. Most of us are only thinking about the practicality of things, leaving the heart, the emotions, the memories, the sacrifices all in the backburner. We forget that one day, we too will become old and what we give comes back to us some day in some form or the other.
    Nobody is going to be young forever.

  33. However, when I wrote about something similar on a site which has many senior citizens as readers and writers, I was astonished to find many of them open to the idea of living in an old age home.

    Hi Shail,

    I interacted with old man who lives in a old age home. He expressed lotssss of problems faced in old age home. It is very difficult to ‘adjust’ with others who live in the home. He has changed in old age home three times in a year without any improvement. Now he feels he could have tolerated his son who is much better than all these unknown senior citizens. In addition very poor living standards exist even in homes which collect huge monthly payments.
    He came out from his house on his own due to some fight over a small issue. Now he is regretting his blunder….. What to do? Ads & buildings look good. But the real situation in old age home is much different.

    Hari

  34. A.Hari :
    However, when I wrote about something similar on a site which has many senior citizens as readers and writers, I was astonished to find many of them open to the idea of living in an old age home.
    Hi Shail,
    I interacted with old man who lives in a old age home. He expressed lotssss of problems faced in old age home. It is very difficult to ‘adjust’ with others who live in the home. He has changed in old age home three times in a year without any improvement. Now he feels he could have tolerated his son who is much better than all these unknown senior citizens. In addition very poor living standards exist even in homes which collect huge monthly payments.
    He came out from his house on his own due to some fight over a small issue. Now he is regretting his blunder….. What to do? Ads & buildings look good. But the real situation in old age home is much different.
    Hari

    Sad reality no Hari. Not here and not there. The senior citizens are the losers either way.

  35. The main advantage of having old age homes is that they look after the old who cant look after themselves and don’t have anybody to look after them;but the main disadvantage is that people think that it is the duty of the old age homes to look after the old and thus are the helpless old people dumped in there.

  36. I have read the stories of old people and they are shocking in some cases.

    I am 64 + and old age is looming large .

    I wish to guide old people to mould themselves to be self dependent & do everybit to give
    independance to the married children and stop meddling into their affairs.

    Turn yourself to God and spend your maximum time in religious places . Keep healthy relations with son(s) and daughters. Adjustment with son’s family is the only right way .
    It had emotional benefits and for that sake , mouth shut and eyes shut attitude can be adopted.

    Feel free to contact me through mail so that your problems could be solved

    purushotamkhanna@yahoo.com

  37. yeah, i am really thankful to all of you for your kind concern / feedback for the old age people. i am dibakar mohapatra from bhubaneswar. i have the concern for the old age and i have just started an old age home on PAY & STAY CONCEPT. let me gain some experience and then i would come back to you. if any of you are wishing to guide / suggest / support me, pls call me at 09437440200, dibakar1971@gmail.com.
    thanking all of you once again

    regards,
    dibakar

  38. Without them we are nothing, they made it possible for us to be here and in return we should appreciate them.

  39. yes, I too agree with you all. They are the one who took care of us.They had forgotten all their happiness for us.

  40. Yes, truly an excellent post and the most accurately written about older people. Home help for the elderly chichester based centers given is truly matchless. Professional and compassionate staff is there which carries out elderly care in a friendly manner so that they may feel happy, blessed and relaxed.

  41. Main advantage standpoint of having maturity homes is that they take care of the old who cannot take care of themselves and don’t have anyone to take care of them;but the fundamental detriment is that individuals surmise that it is the obligation of the seniority homes to take care of the old and hence are the powerless old individuals dumped in there.

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