Vijayawada

Perennial wait at old age homes in city

An old age home in Vijayawada.

An old age home in Vijayawada.  

Despite comfy stay, parents miss the love of their children

75-year-old Rajeswara Rao (name changed on request) has a comfortable stay in the hygienic and peaceful environs of an old age home. He has good company too, and feels the sense of togetherness he experiences here is better than what he had at his own home. But within a few days of starting his life at the old age home, he felt emptiness in his life, and it didn’t take long for him to realise that he was badly missing the love and affection of his sons.

For the past six months, Mr. Rao has been waiting for his sons to come and visit him at the shelter.

“We were a happy family of five sons. They are all married now. The fate, however, changed with my body becoming frail due to advanced age. My sin was becoming dependent on them even for getting a glass of water,” bemoans Mr. Rao.

It’s not just Mr. Rao, but many others at the old age home share a similar story.

“People come and leave their parents here in a bad condition and pay for services depending upon their needs. However, they fail to realise that nothing is dearer to an ageing parent than his or her child’s love,” says D. Rambabu, who has been taking care of senior citizens for the past seven years at his family-run Amma Oldage Home.

Aid for orphans

Citing another case of Ms. Vijayalakshmi from Vizianagaram, he says, “The 80-year-old was abandoned in a very bad condition on Bandar road here by her children. A Shakti team had picked her up and brought her to our home four months ago.”

In case of orphans, Mr. Rambabu bears their expenses from his own pocket. “My late mother is the inspiration for me in doing this service for the needy,” he says.

“Despite the well-maintained facilities and hospitality, the inmates are obviously missing their loved ones, whom they had trusted blindly. It’s like a wound that’s never going to heal for them,” he feels.

Breaking a myth

“The popular assumption is that children living abroad usually leave their parents here. But out of 50 cases here, 40 are from the families living locally,” Mr. Rambabu says, pointing to the increasing tendency among children to distance themselves from their ageing parents.

Old age homes may be a blessing for some, but are a curse for many others. While they are the only resort for orphaned parents, for some they provide an easy way to get rid of elderly people for some reason or the other.

No wonder the number of old age homes has been increasing for the past couple of years in Vijayawada, he adds.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 7:52:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/perennial-wait-at-old-age-homes-in-city/article27133900.ece

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