When I was 19, my grandmother passed away. She had brain hemorrhage. Merely eight months later, my grandfather followed her. There were no medical issues. He was physically healthy. It was loneliness that consumed him.
He had been very quiet in his last few months. We asked him many times to share with us if he was experiencing any problem, health or otherwise, but he remained lost, comfortably numb. We couldn’t understand why he was acting like that. The only person who could understand and read his silence was no longer there. He had no peer and family (we) had no time. We weren’t being cruel, it was just that the demands of life were so extreme and we were consumed by it.
Today, when I look at my grand parents’ pictures, I cannot stop tears rolling down my eyes. There is extreme regret, grief and a deep sense of shame.
I could have so easily arranged a home away from home for him, where he could be with gentlemen from his time in life. What stopped me from taking that decision?.. I was scared of what people would say about our decision. Indian society operates purely on emotions and everyone would have branded me cruel and insensitive.
Aged people are becoming more and more isolated and youngsters have less and less patience in handling them or adjusting with them. Millions of elderly people would be left at the mercy of busy children and family without Old age homes. These Homes are a blessing for the elders.
Providing Care and Support to the Old Aged people is not an easy task and children with stressful life are hardly equipped to take care. At old age homes for the elderly, they live in a secure, professionally maintained environment with the best medical care. In case of an emergency at home while children are away, who will take care?
They can maintain their dignity and enjoy the benefits of a private living. There are many leisure activities that the Homes organize and survey has suggested maximum participation… they all play, can you believe it? It must bring back memories from the days gone by.
The food is palatable with a variety of cuisines, designed keeping in mind the elderly. The staff is patient, one of the most important virtues required in serving old people. Yoga classes are also conducted in order to live long. They have phones to connect with families and even go back home on weekends to spend quality time with children.
There are libraries to read. Many elderly people have been known to turn authors because of access to a world full of books. There are entertainment evenings.
There is so much more. There is hope that the end of days will not be spent alone… when you are about to close your eyes one last time and look around you and don’t see family, you will see friends. They will grieve for you and sing for you… They will miss you