Sunday, December 11, 2016

Old age –Quo vadis?

Old age –Quo vadis?

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Whenever  two old people meet each other, they talk  of how their children   are not bothered about them and may  put them in some old age  home. Is their worry justified-My opinions  based on a write up by Kovai Anuradha  on this subject   as a preface  to his new drama Mamiyar 65:-
There   are two types of old age homes-one  to take care  of people  who do not have money  run free of charge and the other  for rich senior citizens  who can  pay /whose children pay  rent, their food expenses  and their medical expenses called Senior citizen homes  Though we see very many   advertisements for both these  type of homes, their number   would be around 2000 in the four  southern states  of India. Assuming that  this it true   and   the number of people in each such homes    are  about 500, the maximum number of old people living  in the southern states   as of now   would be about one lakh .Suppose I have erred  in my estimates ,  and even if we double the number   the number of people  living in old age homes  would be around 2 lakhs.  But as we all know   the  number  of people   older than 65   that was estimated  in 2014 census    was  around 6%  of the total population  . The total population   of South India was recently   estimated at around  25 crores leading to an estimate  of around 1.6 crores  of old people in south india. So only  a very very minute    ie  2 people  out of 160  people   are living  in these  type of homes.

   Sri Kovai Anuradha    one of  my friend  in face book who is a    great writer  and a great  actor  , surveyed    some of these  old age homes   before he wrote the script   for a drama on this theme and  he found out that

The people   who choose  to live in  old age  homes are:-

1.People   whose children are living abroad   and  they themselves   do not prefer  to  live in the cold climate there.
2.People who are  left at home  alone  by children who are   both employed
3.People   whose   children are  themselves   senior citizens
4,People who are having only daughters and who do not   want to live  in daughter’s home
5.People  who do not have any   children
6.People    who would like to live independently   and not with family
6.People  who are  not wanted by their children(small number)

I agree  with my friend , when he  writes  that all our children are affectionate and consider  their parents as Gods .This is much more so among the poor people  , whose parents you would rarely find in old age homes.  He   also found out that  many old age  people   are not able   to adjust   with young people because:-

1.They  consider cooking  in micro wave oven , induction stove and  gas stove are  not suitable for orthodox cooking   as they cannot be cleaned  using  water/cow dung  after every cooking  and would prefer to cook in coal stove which makes   ashes  fly all over the house.

2.They are not able to  adjust   to the modern day furnituresand their modern upkeep  as they were  not bothered about them earlier.

3.Instructing son not to buy sweets to his wife and children because   they have diabetes or asking daughter in law to use less salt  in  all dishes cooked as they have high BP or asking s daughter in law   not to prepare   fried items  for all because   as they do not have teeth

4.Talking  in a loud voice in the phone and complaining    about how their daughter  in law , torments them, though she  looks after   them properly.

5.Watching TV   with loud sound(your hearing is poor)  and disturbing  the family  of your son/daughter, especially   children who are studying

6.Go on telling about the problems created  by your children’s family  to all your friends including the  maid servant.

7.Getting angry with your wife   and shouting  at her   before your children and grand children

8.Hiding things so that   they  can give it  to her other   children

9.All the 24 hours   complaining and complaining

And so on and so on

  Kovai Anuradhe says    “If only they   adjust to modern times and  are capable of considering  all their   relatives , including their daughter in laws    as their friends , things would be different  , He says human beings  after certain age  should be like   wood apple fruits, whose outer shell  would be thick   and inside  the fruit would not get attached   to the  shell  ,He also indicates  that  the responsibility  of every home should be shared among all members which include youngsters and old people, He has written a    drama called  Mamiyar 65 @   based  on this thought process of his.As per Hindu  the story  of the drama   unfolds  like this:-

“Janaki, a homemaker, takes care of the daily chores of her household, the foremost being caring for her elderly in-laws.
The scene never changes even after her son’s wedding. In fact, the situation worsens as Janaki ends up doing things for both her mother-in-law and her working daughter-in-law. No one in the family tries to understand her commitment towards the family and they continue to ignore her interests. This worries Mani Iyer, the late father of Janaki, who comes to her rescue in the form of a poltergeist. He brings the atrocities being committed against Janaki to the notice of his son-in-law Kalyanaraman and seeks justice. He also urges Kalyanaraman to insist on sharing of responsibilities among the family members. Mani Iyer’s advice helps Kalyanaraman understand the sufferings of his wife. Soon, Kalyanaraman and Janaki leave for Vaideeswarankoil but they never return. Later the police inform the family about the recovery of Kalyanaraman’s mobile from near the railway track. Whether the sudden change in situation had an impact on the family, formed the rest of the story. Since  the writer himself  is an active member if the face book , let us await him to tell us this.

  I would very much like to know   what   my young and old friends think about it


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