Old age homes a better option than being a burden on family

The contentment of being with one’s own kin under the same roof in a sound environment is never compensated by other means. However, to some extent old age homes can be better solutions for those who are ignored by their families. The amicable and supportive hands from such homes not only play an important role in alleviating their troubles but also provides better environment for the old. Reducing the difference between two generations through exchange of ideas and accepting other cultures, giving them love, support and respect, letting them be with people of the same age, and utilising their time being involved in recreational activities, sending them on pilgrimages along with their friends can also be done.

— Pratik Chaudhary, Kupondol

n People need care from others at two times during their life — during childhood and the other when they get old. It is not easy to receive care in old age as compared to childhood. There are people who think that the elderly are a burden on society. I think geriatric homes can be the best option where the old can lead a more comfortable life. Elderly people can be mentally and physically abused at their homes. They do not let out their feelings and might not even be getting proper food on time. In such situations, a geriatric home with all the required facilities would be a good option. A geriatric home can give strength to the elderly who think they are a burden to society and want to die. They can keep themselves busy doing simple tasks like bati-kadhne, tapari gasne, bhajan gaune, et cetera. This will increase their self-esteem too.

Finally, a geriatric home with all the facilities required by elderly people, supported by either government or community can

be the best solution for the elderly.

— Abja Sapkota

n In the West, families are mostly nuclear, children aged 18 leave their homes, hence, when their parents become old, they usually take care of themselves. However, in the East,

families are often big including uncles, aunts and cousins. Thus, chances are that old family members will be taken care of by the younger ones.

Rather than no support, old-age homes are sure a ray of hope for the abandoned elderly. A law could be enforced allowing people at old age to keep their own property to safeguard their future. This way, if their children are arrogant, they can hire employees to take care of them when they need help.

— Cool Cristofer, Lake Side

n When children become capable they begin to feel their parents are a burden. In this regard, I think concept of old age home is not a bad idea. Home is always a better place to live in and old people are no exception to it and these places are doing a good job by allowing elderly to live a reverent life. Old age homes not only provide physical support but also take care of self-worth and self-actualisation that are the principles of living. Nevertheless, strict laws must be exercised to investigate if there is any violence being

committed against these people at home. They should be given equality and equity to enjoy life to its fullest. Love is superior to all options we choose for our elderly as what we give is what we perceive.

— Samana Tuladhar

n Old age homes are not the only alternative support for elderly citizens who are ignored by their dear ones. Firstly, parents rather than handing over all their property to children, should keep some for themselves for their old age. Before getting old even we should save some amount of money for the future so that we can live independently on our own property rather than surviving on other’s mercy. However, every individual should respect elderly citizens who are pillars of our society. We should even teach our children to show respect and care for such elderly citizens. But it is the government who should bring appropriate policies to take care of the elderly population.

— Paru Poudel, Chabahil

n There are many old age homes established to provide food and shelter for elderly people. But these homes are not able to provide proper services in the absence of financial support. I think such old age homes must be run by government with proper infrastructure and packages of services under social welfare. If the government conducts this programme effectively, the problem of elderly people is sure to end.

— Kul Chandra Rijal, Wangla-4, Arghakhanchi

n Old age homes are good solutions for ignored elderly people and for those who do not have families to look after them. The other solution could be establishment of more old age homes. These homes are the best places that provide shelter and food for them. The families unwilling to take responsibilities of their parents should be severely punished. The government should make proper rules and regulations regarding proper management and care of old age homes. It is the government who should take proper action against such families.

— Merina Shrestha

n The government of every country should provide facilities to people during their old age. Even many non-governmental organisations are establishing homes for elderly people these days. Such homes are the best solutions for helpless old people who do not have anyone to look after them. In this modern age, everyone is busy in their own work and ignore old people. Many of them are treated badly by their own sons and daughters, whereas some of them

have no family members. We can help such people

by providing home and food. It would be a home away home where they won’t feel lonely but get family environment throughout their life.

— Suresh Jaiswal

n In our society, it is the parents who make their children independent and live a dignified life. But these days most children are busy earning money. They abandon their parents when parents are in need of love, care and support. They treat their own parents as slaves and don’t respect them. Rather they send their parents to old age homes. But these things should be totally restricted. They are the parents who are in the position of God. Parents should always be treated well and given due respect, love and care.

— Bikash Khadka

n Old age homes are certainly one of the best solutions for taking care of elderly citizens in the present context of busy lifestyle and hectic schedule. Such homes simply provide shelter and support to those who don’t have anyone to look after them. But the problems lie with the conditions and facilities of these homes, which don’t meet minimum standards. Hence, the best option of taking care of elderly members is to keep them with their family. There should be public private partnership for creating housing colony (elder’s city) and such investment should exempt from tax. The government can also come up with some schemes where elderly can be kept in the hostel and the other family members make a monthly contribution. Such schemes on one hand motivate other family members to make necessary contributions and on the other hand help in maintaining facilities and amenities provided to the elders. Mass media should be used to advise citizens to save something for their old days so that they can live their own life. Elderly desks at pension and provident funds offices can advise them regarding their financial matters.

— Regmi Siris, Bhaisepati

n It is okay for old people to stay in old aged homes when they have no one to look after them. But it is totally wrong for a family to ignore their elderly members. However, families cannot be forced to feel love for the elderly though they might have done much for their children. I think old aged homes are a solution to some extent. At least it is better to be surrounded by people with similar woes than be taken as a burden. As for my family, I would never settle for an old aged home for my elderly ones. They have done so much for us and I can’t think to keep them away from home once they’re incapable of looking after themselves. It is true old people get cranky and disagreeable at times but we definitely were like that when they looked after us during our childhood. However, we could opt for getting a nurse to look after them if we cannot spare time to cater all their needs.

— Rhea Gurung, Maharajgunj

n The conflict that often arises between the old and the young is very natural; nature perhaps meant them to live together but not under the same roof. Surely if our attitude about the old aged homes changes, there is no harm in it for everyone, including the elderly, who like to enjoy companionship of their peers. We can see that Westerners have greatly applied this idea and as a result, to a greater level, they have succeeded to render care to elderly. However, for a poor country like Nepal, it

may be implausible to

afford it. In that condition, we can develop small societies at our community level that will allow the elderly enjoy their leisure time with their friends.

— Prajwal Niraula

n People of age group 60 and above are categorised as elderly in Nepal. They are an economically inactive population and are dependent upon active population for their living. At this age they face physical and mental changes, they find it difficult to adjust in society. So, they are ignored by the new generation. There are old age homes to facilitate elderly people with food and shelter. Although these homes are only to provide support for ignored, helpless elderly people, I don’t think it is the best solution. Everyone of us should be aware that we too are going to get old tomorrow, how would we feel, if we were left to live alone even though we have uncountable belongings? I feel taking elderly people away against their will is violence of human rights, act of killing human desires. Instead they should be encouraged to live a happy and meaningful life. Their experiences and knowledge should be used logically. We can collect funds for them and can establish parks, libraries, theatres, temples and clubs where they can pass their time in company of friends. Similarly, ageing allowances, free health care should also be provided to encourage them to lead an independent life. — Yashoda Dhakal