No one can stem the tide of youth, for old age catches up with everyone. It is a global phenomena and one that needs to be addressed. The aspect of elderly care gathers greater significance in the light of the fact that families are becoming nuclear and want to stay that way. Hence this is not only a private concern but also a public one where the state or social institutions come into play.
While becoming old is a natural phenomenon, the problems associated with it are also inevitable. It is at this stage of life that one needs housing, healthcare and financial care more than ever. Not everyone is endowed with a family, which is prepared to look after these elder people and allow them to lead a life of dignity and peace.
Caring for the elder is always a challenge and the older the person is, the more difficult it becomes. The sense of responsibility increases manifold. During this time, in spite of regular work schedules, we have to make time to take care of them and their needs. Understanding their mental makeup and learning to identify signals, which spell their requirements, are very important aspects.
Elderly care can be emotionally trying for both the cared and the caregiver. On the one hand, the caregiver rues the fact that a healthy individual has metamorphosed into a sickly senior and on the other hand the elder parent or individual feels that he is robbed of his sense of independence and is hence emotionally drained. Addressing this problem is not easy, but reassurance has to be given time and time again to reiterate the fact that the senior is not alone in his troubles. The caregiver has got to think, anticipate, and find ways to take care of all this. Balancing safety and needs without compromising too much on independence is a task by itself. If there are other family members to take care, the problem is slightly less and with paid caregivers, the emotional quotient will be missing. In India, when there were joint families and people were not hard pressed for time, there was always someone to take care of the elderly. Now times have changed. The Indian elderly population is growing rapidly because science and technology has created a revolution in the healthcare system and the health care needs of the elderly Indian has increased. Poverty and illiteracy have exacerbated the problem of elderly care and has rendered them more vulnerable. In rural India, the problem is worse. In such a situation, having to depend on their children to look after them brings a lot of fundamental values and the principles of ethics into play.
The loving care that they can get in a family environment contributes to their good health and emotional well being, but in a society, which is always going somewhere, there is no time for it to stop and cater to the needs of the elderly people.
Elderly people are left in the Old Age Homes who promise to give them good care, which is no doubt giving by the Old Age Homes. However, Are all these elderly people happy there? Is this what they want? Can we provide them what they want?
So let’s all join hands in giving a wonderful care for the elderly people and bring Happiness back on their face.
I as an responsible citizen of this country, have taken a stand for those Elderly people, who are left in the Old Age Homes, to re-unite them with their family. And my request for each and every citizen of this country, also to take a stand for these Elderly people to re-live their life with their loved ones.
Savitha K Ranganathan