Old-age Homes – An abode for the valued population

Here is the story of an elderly couple whose children forced them to leave their home, and they shifted to a care home in the same city.

Here is another case of a lady who depends on her deceased husband’s pension, but she never had access to the money as her son siphoned away all the money by flatly saying that she doesn’t need so much money.

A few years ago, when one of my neighborhood uncles retired from his government job, the first discussion in their house was about who would get what in the parental property and with whom parents would have to live. His three children occupied one floor for themselves in the three-story house built by their father. The saddest part of the story was that they also divided their tenure to take care of their parents after taking pension money from their father.

I am not telling you the story of Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini’s movie ‘ Baghban’ and not any other such Bollywood movie.

Highlighting a social issue without being judgmental of the young generation is a task.

Everyone, especially in India, has listened to the story of the plights of the older generation in the vicinity.

Real-life incidents are the real mirror to the entire humanity.

I just heard the story of an illiterate mother whose son and DIL cheated her by taking her thumb impression on a blank paper. Within a few days, his real estate in his native village found a new owner – his son and daughter-in-law.

There are so many examples of senior citizens deceived by their children. Sometimes, they ignore their intuitions to pay heed to the unjustifiable demands of their children. Sometimes, they become victims of domestic violence by their children, and many a time, once they register their properties in the name of their children, everything changes in a go for them.

When parents depend on their children, their plights are hard to describe in a few words.

The high-rise buildings in metropolitan cities, the 1BHK or 2BHK, or the studio apartments, but there is a no-no place for the senior citizens, who account for 10.5 % of the total population.


Shelter homes/ Old-age homes in India

India still lags in the number of government-owned shelter homes for such people – the reason can be the social stigma attached to the minds of people who stray away and abandon their parents.

An invisible thread of affinity in the family is still strong enough to make the family relations go live and intense.

There are homes where three generations are still living together with respect and honor.

Some elders are valuable because they have immense life experience. Furthermore, they don’t meddle with the young generation. They are always there to help you even before you ask for it.

They have vast knowledge. They can teach you life lessons and can be the savior. They have a realistic view of life.

It is difficult to live peacefully in a world that is so demanding yet demeaning to others in every sense. With the wise words of our elders, we can even sail through the turbulent water of the world.


Number of Old-age homes in India

It is unpleasantly surprising that with just 728 old-age care homes in India in 2022, we have about 5020 such registered facilities in 2024.

It is high time in India when we are in the midst of so many undermined problems in personal and public life. Unemployment is breaking new records, inflation is beyond explanation, harmony, and peace are nowhere to be felt, and the democratic government is not coming forward to make people-friendly assertions.

Older people with pensions choose to go into care homes themselves for fear of being defrauded.

With a large number of people renouncing their Indian citizenship in recent years, they send their elderly parents to care homes.

With nuclear families in trend for the last four decades, senior citizens have no one in their homes to attend to and tend to them.

The rising cost of living and medical expenses because of inflation is also increasing the problems of the elderly population.

In some households, everyone works for a living, so taking care of the senior citizens is a matter of concern. 

Life expectancy and loneliness

From an average life expectancy of 32 years in 1947 in India to 72.288 years in 2024, India shunned many myths in due course.

However, this achievement is hard for senior citizens now as they have to face a lot of physical, mental, emotional, financial, and social incoherence in their lives.

Age does not hold back, and those who were poor at managing their finances in their youth have to face more than their counterparts who had separate medical and term insurance policies in their names.

There are some reality checks for the family values and standards of upbringing, which the gen-next people tend to ignore the senior citizens. The disrespect and mistreatment of senior citizens are formidable and condemnable for a wholesome society.


Figuring out the rightful problems of senior citizens

We hear a lot about the fights and plights of senior citizens.

Even tier-2 and tier-3 cities now have care homes for elderly persons, a no-joke social problem.

Some people are too old, and despite having a fair enough fortune, they face insults and abuse in their homes.

Conflicts of interest with younger family members also add to their misery.

We have many instances of mistreatment of affluent senior citizens, too.

We know that age never ages backward. We can’t hold our youth, we can’t deny the aging, and we can’t live in an illusional world of ‘All is well’ vibe.

 There is a sense of responsibility for the people who are still alive. Still, because of their age-related issues, they are facing terrible discrimination and disparity. 

Formula of a beautiful social structure never dumps its most valuable component, our respected senior citizens.

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