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.

11 replies on “Old Age Homes”

yups old age homes charge the rates of service apartments and hence r not cheep… but atleast it gives NRI’s a peace of mind that their parents are in safe hands.
its the price which the NRIs pay so that they do not feel guilty of emigrating and not being able to take care of their parents the way they should

actually yes it is….
i know a colleague of mine who has installed a webcam in his house (same city) so that he can track the nanny from home.

but i doubt your ability to charge for it because with skype, and all other webcam enabled internet telephony services allow u do it for free…. the max u can get out of it would be the installation charge for computer + internet + webcam.. and teaching the technologically challenged elderly how to use it… but even the learning part might be tricky.. for once 1 guy in the old age home knows how to use it.. everybody will learn…

but i can assure u one thing… any old age home, by enabling this feature, can easily sell the beds to NRI

It is not that easy for Indians to adjust in old age homes.Children are the most important people in Indian parents life.Relatives and friends do play a role in our lives but our culture is such that our lives revolve around our children as long as they are around us so in the moment of happiness and sorrow we want our children and grandchildren around us.Technology has made a difference but still Indian parents are not satisfied with Mothers day and Fathers day visits.Spending money on old age homes may make the NRI’s feel less guilty and life a little easier for the parents but emotional security can only be provided by the children themselves.

Prerna ,
We know how important career is in one’s life. And if it takes the children away from home and the parents are not able to cope with the day to day tasks , what is the next best alternative ?

but i can assure u one thing… any old age home, by enabling this feature, can easily sell the beds to NRI //
yes..Ankur….there are umpteen elderly who wants to take life easy and do away with the nuisance of running a house.

//Spending money on old age homes may make the NRI’s feel less guilty and life a little easier for the parents but emotional security can only be provided by the children themselves.//
i totally agree with u.. but u have to realize that a lot of parents do not want to move abroad with their kids… well i even know a few parents who cannot adjust in city and always want to go back their village.

There sure are parents who find an OAH comfortable. What about the ones who don’t?

Its easy for a person to be flexible during the young age. Its real tough to adjust oneself (according to the life style of a city or abroad etc.,) when a person is old.

How would the situation look when parents prefer Crechès instead of spending time with their wards? This doesn’t mean that the parent is not affectionate to the child, one might say. The parent is making sure that the child gets the best treatment from the best hands. But nothing comes close to raising a child by a parent right? Did not the parents of the previous generation comprimise on many situations and raise their children? But I digress from the kern of this post.

If an elderly person is not going to feel comfortable in another city or country, how different is the story going to be in an OAH? In a joint family, there are people around to take care of the elders and that should probably explain the surge in OAHs now-a-days. So the natural alternative in joint families was that the close kith and kin took care of the elders in the absence of the children. Will relatives in today’s “nuclear family” scneario be ready to take up the work? Or will the elders feel comfortable staying with a relative?

In my opinion, it is better for the elders to live with their children and adjust to the new environment around instead of staying in an OAH and adjusting oneself for a whole lot others. Atleast in the former case, the child is around. That itself brings a feeling of security and happiness.

Voracious Blog Reader

ya thats true… if possible, its best to be with family in your golden years…
but there is another aspect also.. some parents have only daughters and do not want be in their daughter’s home.

also some parents r not liked by their daughter in laws… what to do in that scenario

as Ankur pointed out the main causes as for relationships going sour are these..

1. the interpersonal relationship e.g. the mother in law – daughter in law syndrome often lands the elderly into OAH.
2. Arranged marriages are no longer in vogue ; marriage of individual choices esp when there is inter-religious etc. marriage , compatibility between the elders and the young suffers result in entry into OAH
3. The elderly refusing to take help from their daughers and not treating their sons-in-law as their sons.
I have known many families who refuse to live with their daughters for the the fear of the society ridiculing them.

Can anyone recommend nice, plush old age homes in North India? I am one of those NRIs you talk about and my parents are very old and can no longer care for themselves. I need to find them a nice place and have not been able to find any alternatives. I would be most grateful for your advice.


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