Elderly Women Deserve Personal Touch - The New Indian Express

Elderly Women Deserve Personal Touch

Published: 08th March 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 08th March 2014 01:53 AM

The status and plight of women will be discussed in several fora today but proper attention needs to be given to the plight of aged sisters and mothers who live in despicable conditions or total neglect. Some are active, alert and can provide deep insight into complicated issues. They deserve help in more ways than one. Their basic needs of nutrition and health care are not taken care of in many cases. Those who did not miss opportunities to succeed in their field of activity are missing something great today—it could be health care, attention from family, private time with others around them and more frequent interaction with their own children. Loneliness is the number one killer and depression aggravates all other ailments.

Due to compulsions of career and temptations of living abroad, most children only bother to send financial assistance for those who brought them into this earth. They scarcely have time to talk to them, not to speak of personal visits. The aged long for company, especially those who have lost their spouses. When the children move away, the aged woman looks upon her husband as the only companion for comfort, confidence and courage. When he too falls due to sickness and old age and the woman becomes crippled due to advancing age, losing her sense of sight or hearing, her world crumbles.

Women who have gone through a life maze full of twists and turns, ups and down, crave for love and attention. The elders need to prepare themselves 20 years ahead, on their own or with the assistance of those who stand by them.

Those with resources find an abode in old age homes, and the vast variety of creature comforts in such places are well advertised, bringing the well-to-do to park their mothers/sisters. Little do the children appreciate that what the elders need is personal care, words of solace close-up rather than long-distance phone calls or a conversation on Skype or viewing photo albums online. Even while living with parents and grandparents, the kids these days give little importance to human relationship/values. The younger ones feel gadgets can be a good radio collar and will provide instant contact with the elders. They are sadly mistaken just as those who think TV serials can replace the playing children in big homes of the distant past. Those admitted to old age homes fret and fume that they miss all social contact and cultural activity. Participation that they expect in important family events is totally denied or is unavailable.

There are those who, for family harmony and personal convenience, try to place the aged women in independent homes, with duly appointed caregivers. Even regular visits by the physician are arranged. The elderly women reminisce about their loved ones and the lovable past to spend their time. Sadly, compulsions of modern living go against them. Let us give a big salute to the women—aged, alone, afflicted or abandoned— this Women’s Day.

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