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Is it a curse to be old?

“Old is Gold”, is one of the most ancient proverbs that has made its place in millions of hearts. An age-old antique piece finds a place in the prime spot at homes while a vintage car gets sold for double the price at an auction.  Old things do matter a lot, isn’t it?

So, what about the old souls back in our own homes?

Ageing is a phenomenon; toddlers once would certainly grow old someday. While parents struggle every moment of their life to take care of their children, it is quite disheartening to see an increase in the number of old-age homes in our society.

Is it really so difficult to take care of our own parents? It is pretty surprising to see children disowning their parents at a certain point of time. Is it because of the so-called stressful lifestyle or the inability to accommodate their emotions or is it because of the dawn of nuclear family?

Well, sometimes it brings heebie-jeebies when we look at our family trees. Our ancestors, great grand-parents and grand-parents always mastered the art of taking care and maintaining large families without any hassles. There could have certainly been a scarcity of the basic necessities yet, they did not seem to be deficient when it came to love and caring, the quintessential ingredients of our existence.

“God could not be everywhere, therefore, he made mothers”, is an age-old saying and we suppose that it is not applicable once a mother gets old. There could be tons of reasons yet, how justifiable is it to discard her when she is in need of her children during her old age?

It is heart-wrenching to meet the residents of old-age homes; it has become a trend these days for a lot of youngsters to celebrate their birthdays amongst these deprived classes of people. The chosen ones being the orphanages and old-age homes, it does look great to make them part of the celebrations yet, there are no lessons that are being taken away from these places.

A lot of us walk in with a hope to make them happy but, deep inside their hearts, there is a silhouette of unheard tears craving for love from their kith and kin. They deserve to be happy and there is a subtle message behind this unseen agony to each one of us.

They seem to be happy from the peripheral yet, one thing that I realised personally during my visit to several old age homes was that they want their family to at least make telephone calls and spend about a few minutes in a month and this is surely not too much to be asked for.

Admitting parents at old age homes isn’t surely a crime or to be guilty about but not able to spend at least an hour in a month with them is certainly a heinous act.

Well, it was quite shocking to know that a few of them had voluntarily stepped out of their own homes just to see their children happy. The story of an 83-year-old lady who has been in one of the old age homes from the last 6 years was really blood-curdling.

She had chosen on her own to be away from her son’s home after she developed health issues related to the spinal cord. She felt neglected and unwanted though it wasn’t pronounced directly.

“I was unable to cook for him and take care of him properly”, then what’s the use of my being by his side, I would rather spend my time in this old-age home”, says this lady from Belaku old age home.

Ever since then, none of her family members has paid a visit to her to know her well-being. She also says that she is happy being around people of her age-group and avoids thinking about her children with a disappointment in her smile and eyes.

“A lot of youngsters walk into our home and I personally feel very happy when they talk to me and call me granny, and they remind me of my children and grand-children”, says another inmate, aged about 63 years.

When sought for a message from all of these residents at various old age homes, they only had one thing to say, “Every parent takes care of their children and yes, it is their duty to do so, but when parents become old, it’s not a payback time but, it’s just being humane”.

“We do not want youngsters to simply walk into our homes and celebrate their happiness with us, we want them to take care of their old parents after they grow up, there should be a decline in the number of old age homes”.

These are some things to be pondered upon. Well, we are certainly not sure about the numbers of old-age homes becoming nil yet, there is a lot to be thought about before making firm decisions related to old aged people.

Well, everything being said and done, it is now time for a reality check.

Why do we lose interest in our parents once they grow old? Is it because they are in their senior moments or they are not that energetic as they were earlier or is it because we do not have time to balance our lives harmoniously?

We can come up with a zillion justifications, yet the reality never changes. If we have time for everyone and everything else around us, can’t we make some time for our own family? Ultimately, it is a choice of every individual to realize the value of emotions and relationships.

Everything can be changed through the way we think, while the gravity of the situations differs from one person to another, there is always an option.

Do admit your parents to old-age homes but forgetting to visit them or calling them is quite an unimaginable situation. Keeping them happy may be highly impossible but considering them as one amongst us is certainly not a tedious task.

We all get on in years and that is a phenomenon. Think of your old age before you drop your parents at the doorstep of old folks home and thanks to a lot of old-age homes that have come up in the recent years. Well, they cannot certainly be homes yet, they have a room for feelings and emotions and the walls of every old-age home have a story to narrate.                                               – Brunda Nagraj

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