Press Esc to close
Friday 01 July 2016
News updated at 12:51 AM IST
Weather
Max: 26.3°C
Min : 20.3°C
In Bengaluru
Generally cloudy

In the sunset years of their lives

Shwetha Satyanarayan, Oct 1, 2013, DHNS :

Old-age Homes

Taking care: October 1 is observed as 'International Day of Older Persons'.

A cheery 82-year-old Dwarkanath is happy to receive visitors. With an infectious energy, he says, “I am happy to be here, like others, as we know we have nowhere to go. Though we have families, they are busy with their own lives.

This is our only world.” Like Dwarkanath, hundreds of elderly people, owing to reasons like desertion by family, lack of security, and children who are settled in another city are forced to move into old-age homes. On the ‘International Day of Older Persons’, Metrolife takes a look at a situation that is becoming common.

“The trend is not very pleasing as there has been a tremendous increase in the number of old-age homes in the City,” says Robert, senior manager at HelpAge India, an NGO. He explains, “In 2009, there were less than 100 old-age homes in the City. Today, there are about 163 of these, apart from retirement homes. There has been about 40 per cent increase in the last few years. On an average, the occupancy rate is 90 per cent, which means most of the old-age homes are full.”

The NGO conducts surveys every year and the last survey on elder abuse indicated that many elderly people choose old-age homes due to abuse from children and extended family members. However, old-age homes are not as he­ar­tless a place as people think these to be, says Mukund R, an IT professional.

He observes, “We paint a very negative picture of old-age homes, but I think if the place is well-run, the elderly will get constant medical care and they will be supervised by someone. It is better to stay with people of their age, so that they can talk instead of waiting for their kids the who­le day, who, most of the time don’t have time for their pare­nts. However, even today people raise eyebrows if a man is sending his parents to an old-age home. I don’t think I will be able to do it, even if I want to, as it would break my parents’ hearts. But I don’t think it is as horrifying as it se­ems.”

On the other hand, it is depressing, says Hareesh, an MNC employee. He says, “There may be situations, where elderly people have to stay alone or may have adjustment issues, but that does not mean they should be left in old-age homes. Old age is a very tender phase and that is why it is considered to be second childhood. Elders need more attention than before. I would never support people who send their parents to old-age homes. I’d advise them that if the situation demands it, then change the situation.”

Interestingly, most of the people who come to old-age homes cite adjustment issues as the reason, says Girija Hegde, who is in charge of a private trust. She says, “The lifestyle of working couples has changed over the years and aged people find it tough to share a common ground with their children. Also, for security purposes, they prefer staying in an old-age home instead of being locked up at home the whole day.” Whether old-age homes get full support or not, going by the increasing numbers of such homes, it sure indicates that more people are knocking on their doors.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Villagers looking at a one horned rhinoceros that strayed in...

Villagers looking at a one horned rhinoceros that strayed in...

Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan during the Pro Kabaddi match between Jaipur....

Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan during the Pro Kabaddi match between Jaipur....

Illuminated Mysuru Palace during the marriage....

Illuminated Mysuru Palace during the marriage....

Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress...

Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress...

Fans holds an national soccer team jersey with the name and number of Lionel Messi...

Fans holds an national soccer team jersey with the name and number of Lionel Messi...

Virat Kohli interacts with children at the launch of Stepathlon Kids...

Virat Kohli interacts with children at the launch of Stepathlon Kids...

Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI embrace during a ceremony...

Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI embrace during a ceremony...

Horse-mounted Policemen seen at a road in Kolkata...

Horse-mounted Policemen seen at a road in Kolkata...

An egret takes off in New Delhi on Tuesday...

An egret takes off in New Delhi on Tuesday...

A typist attends a customer at a street flooded after heavy rains outside Court complex...

A typist attends a customer at a street flooded after heavy rains outside Court complex...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523