Old age –Quo vadis?
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 @ hotmail..com 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