Old Age Homes

The Indian society has not come out of its shell and looks at old age homes (OAH) as some kind of prison or curse for the elderly.

It fails to take notice of the multi faceted circumstances which force elders to enter OAHs.

Each individual elder who has entered an OAH , either voluntarily or forced by circumstances has his/her story to unfold. Unless one knows the full story or seeing both sides of the coin one cannot pass judgement whether OAHs are necessary or a necessary evil.

Children often live in far away places . The elderly want to cling on to their own friends , relatives and roots . At the same time they are too old to tackle the day to day problems such as employing domestic labour and paying various service bills without reliable help and therefore they opt for such homes wherein the old age home management takes care of all these problems .

Also , the elderly people who had been habituated to a set pattern of living either religious or social feel fish out of water in changed circumstances and environment in which there offsprings live.

To me it looks as if OAHs are a necessity depending on the environment in which the stake holders are placed. The society that looks down upon entry into OAHs and that which condemns the younger generation for ‘sending’ the elders to the OAHs are totally unaware of the various interplay of relationships and circumstances which force such actions.

However it has to be condemned that many OAHs are run on commercial lines just to fleece money from the dollar earning younger generation under the guise of taking care of elders .

If the humiliating and pitying approach of the society is changed , it would be a welcome change for the elderly and this may even lead to better homes springing up everywhere to meet the high demand.