India, as we know, is always at par with the latest trends in technology and lifestyle. There are many choices for us to choose from, be it buying a smart TV or a plant pot. Though we are a bunch of passionate folks who are big on next-gen fast-paced life, our inherent values of respect for elders and taking care of our parents, never takes a backseat. More often than not, we are sandwiched between a busy life with family and parents who feel left behind in our leap to securing our future. After several times of calling in sick at work and cancelling holidays that we promise our kids, all to fly down to our parents and be with them, we would come to a standstill. It becomes clearer that there are no two ways about it- our parents cannot rely on us for timely help. It is comprehensive care and proactive measures that are needed, because it is an uncertain future that we have in front of us.
Stigma Associated with it
The social stigma associated with old-age home is deep-rooted. We have had quite a lot of conversations about how parents do not receive the well-deserved care and attention of their children, about how they are left all alone at an old-age home, when all they would want is to live a peaceful life with their kids and grandkids. It is time we faced it, talked about it and thought about it. How do aging parents feel, especially if their spouse is no more? More than eighty percent of the seniors admit feeling lonely until someone shows up at their door, which is a rare occasion by itself. It is the fear of lack of common interests to talk about, which is one of the major reasons younger generation avoids conversations with them. What if old-age homes are not about a bunch of lonely seniors with teary eyes, but a group of perky, vibrant people who are just enjoying their time together? What if they had planned to move in to a senior living with other seniors in their early forties? What if it was a long-term plan they had been saving up for, just the way they did when they bought their first house? This is what retirement homes are all about.
It is true that people gel better with people their age. Their experiences would be widely different, their stories would be interesting to someone who has seen it all, someone who is past their prime age. Because at that point in life, stories of their pasts are no longer perceived as ‘boasting’ about one’s achievements or ‘offering free advice’. There is no room for communication gap, as they both belong to the same time frame. Conversations between seniors facilitate a deep bond between them and help them foster respect and compassion for each other. Also, it is important that they engage with people they connect to, as it helps keep the worries of being lonely at bay.
Everybody is entitled to a secure future. It is not just us who wish for a dream home and a comfortable life, but our parents too. Over time, the definition of dream home and happy life attains new meanings. The home your parents built for themselves several decades back would not be ideal for them when their body is not that flexible anymore, when their knees hurt after climbing a flight of stairs. Should they fall ill, they need immediate help. Should they forget their medication, they need timely reminders. Should they slip on wet floor, they need grab rails. There are a lot of tiny augmentations that can be brought about to make life easier and comfortable for them.
Senior living facilities ensure that they have all these and more. With careful planning and thoughtful designing, it makes sure that you and your parents, both build the life you love. With retirement homes or old-age homes, it is not a set of lonely seniors that should come to our mind, but a happy bunch living their best lives.