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Oldage home VS staying with children in old age

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by GPriya, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. Dewdrop

    Dewdrop Gold IL'ite

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    Hi friends,

    My FIL is the most easy-going, undemanding & flexible person, even more so after my MIL passed away many many years ago. He was living with his 2 other sons in our home in India. We kept requesting him to at least visit us here in Dubai, for few months ------ he flatly refused saying he'll be bored. No
    temple, no walks due to heat, no friends to chat / play cards, no neighbours kids to play & baby sit etc. Once the brothers got married, hell began for him ......cold noodles for b'fast while the sons got hot milk & idlis ; no midmorning coffee, no snacks, not even watching TV or hot water for bath !
    Good rice /meat for them but only ration rice for my FIL ! Though they have a servant/maid, the spineless sons were at the beck & call of their wives & THAT hurt my FIL ! Still he didn't say a word to us, kept lying that he was fine....until he got a heart attack ! Only then, a neighbour told us how his spirit had been tortured by them.

    My husband being the eldest son, was furious with his brothers & literally begged/pleaded/dragged my FIL to come & stay with us in Dubai. Still that man very stubbornly refused, saying he will not cross oceans to another country !! But thankfully he was very willing to stay in a home for aged ----- it was a very very good one ; excellent food, medical care, only 2 people in a room, TV, paper & magazines etc. So, we kicked out the brothers, sold our home & put that money as deposit for my FIL's stay in that home & he was very very happy there. His health improved by leaps & bounds; he made lots
    of friends, read as many kumudams & ananda vikatans, saw whatever channel he wanted ..... he was in bliss !

    But then one son came & said sorry, give us the money you're giving this home & we'll take care of you --- we'll also give you horlicks / keerai/ fish --- your grandkids are missing you etc. etc. My foolish FIL stupidly believed them & though my hubby threatened that he wouldn't speak to him again, he stubbornly walked out of his happiness into that hell once again. And he never recovered........

    Yes friends, after the first 2 days, their torture started........they had even kept a huge stone near the connecting door to the toilet 'cos his going to toilet at midnight spoils their sleep !! Are they humans even ?? He has pleaded with them not to leave him alone & go for a wedding 'cos he hated being alone....... they lied saying only 2 days, they'll be back. They left him alone for 5 days ......
    By chance, a cobbler woman passing by happened to see him lying alone IN HIS STOOLS !! As she was washing him, his spirit gave up ...... his heart was broken ; he felt unwanted ; he left for a better world. They had literally left him to die !
    What a worst way to die ....ALL ALONE....for a wonderful human being ! Till date, my husband hasn't forgiven his brother or accepted his father's death.

    A human life is most valuable ; please don't hurt your parents unknowingly ; a little bit of patience & love is all they ask in return for having brought us into this world & raised us without even thinking of their needs. They may be too proud to openly ask for it ....... just give them a spontaneous hug & kiss now & then ; it'll wash away all their aches , pains & fill up their lonely hearts !

    With love,
    Dew.
     
  2. sujathae

    sujathae Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Dew, It is a touching mail. Really it made me cry. WHat u have said is 100% too. with little more love and patience we can do wonders to the lives of our old people. Many don't understand that. Each one wants the other person to dance to their tunes when they donot want to give up their own wishes. Anyway thanks for that.

    BTW i am also from coimbatore. Would be happy to know more about u? Pls keep in touch

    sujatha
     
  3. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    [Hi friends,
    I've gone thro' this thread.
    As there are two sides to a coin, both older and younger generations are facing problems. Even widowed ladies also are facing lot of problems. Only those who could afford to stay in old age homes might lead a peaceful life if they prefeerd it than to stay with their offsprings. But lot of ladies and men also have to put up with ill treatment and abuses. People have the guts to say in front of the person, "Kizam eppo sagumo?" enru. Longivity is a bane and people suffer for no fault of theirs.
    I feel at least relatives whose sons and daughters are living abroad, should make arrangement to live together and keep themselves happy.
    Regards,
    Pushpavalli
     
  4. Abha

    Abha Bronze IL'ite

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    Hey Dew and everybody

    I'm really touched by your story... and i completely agree with you, that we should take care of our elders.

    They took care of us when we were small... we refused to understand a thing they used to tell us and throw tantrums all the time, but still they loved us and did everything for us... and as somebody said, Old age is another childhood, all you need is love and care.

    I agree with the view point that elders also should be understanding, which is expected from them due to their age and all the wisdom they have acquired thru these years... and I think elders should also interact with people around like neighbours and relatives. rest of the time they can very well spend in Pooja Paath.

    Sending Elders to old age homes is, I think highly demeaning for us being their children and for them being old... all their lives they have earned and fed us, right from "I want a shoe or a Bag or a Shiny dress" they have fulfilled every wish of ours... and lived a life of Dignity. we cant take all that away from them and keep them in an old age home.

    I just wish at this moment, that God give me strength to take care of my elders, as my elders took care of their elders... I wish that never a crease should come on my Forehead while doing any of their work... or while caring for them.

    ~Abha
     
  5. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Dewdrop,

    Read your post and my heart went out to your father in law. So sorry.

    This is why I say that it is better to face everyone's shortcomings and problems and see the situation in face and put an end to the false taboos. At least, you say your father in law was a very kind soul and was not demanding at all. This cannot be said of all the elderly fathers and mothers. That does not mean that they are evil or bad in any way. By the time their reach that age, they too are set in their likes and dislikes and have definite wants and needs. That is where a good old age home can help. If this 'guilt' feeling can be removed when letting the parent stay in such facilities, in many cases the problem can be solved amicably and with dignity to all the parties concerned.
    I get the feeling that 'good' old age homes are very expensive in India. Sad.
    I have no idea and would love to know .....How much does such a home cost? Anyone in the know how, please let me know. I am specially interested in those situated in Bangalore and Chennai.

    L, Kamla
     
  6. Dewdrop

    Dewdrop Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Kamla,

    In our situation, the guilt feeling was there with us as we hesitated, chewed & swallowed umpteen number of times, before bringing up the very word of 'home' to my FIL ............. but we were immensely relieved when he immediately agreed ! In fact, i think he was more relieved, not wanting to bring up the topic himself ; such is the stigma attached to it !

    Since we are based in Coimbatore, the home was in a nearby place .... details if u want , will ask my hubby & pm you tomorrow . This happened a few years ago, so maybe better ones have come up now .

    Yes, it is pretty expensive, but nothing when compared to a parent's peace of mind & happy last years ! Now we can give many times that amount, but will we get him back ?? :cry: :cry: :cry:
     
  7. GPriya

    GPriya Bronze IL'ite

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    Well said Kamla...

    The decision to send old age parent to a home should be only the ultimate step to bring peace for all the people concerned...I don't think any kid would happily decide to take such a step.. if there is a way to coexist...

    Dew.. your story is very touching..but your guilt is because your FIL is a very nice, decent human being...unfortunately illtreated by his sons..

    For Padmavati, if someone felt like you described" kizham eppo pogumo" then the oldie must be troubling the people around for his own reasons. .

    Ladies...the bottom line here is as much the children are expected to have care and consideration for the older people, oldies too must understand and try make life reasonably comfortable for the children. If that happens then the question of oldage home never arises.
    Just to quote an example from my life, When I had a surgery due to my tubal pregnency, the next day of the surgery i was discharged and my hubby brought me home in the morning while i still was sedated with pain killers..then my hubby went for work just for a couple of hours to catch up with some meetings.. My FIL knowing my health condition, knocks my bedroom door so loud.(.which made me feel shocked since i was sedated and sleeping with lot of pain)and asking me to get up and prepare some coffee and snack for him... Not even 24 hours passed after surgery and I was advised bedrest for a week atleast....imagine the old man's attitude waking me up..for his stupid 4th coffee of the day.
    It is not enough if kids are considerate towards parents, they too must receiprocate atleast in times of need.

    Well, Kamla, there are good old age homes in Chennai..and especially one in ECR road for NRI parents with upscale facilities right on the sea shore.
    In MYlapore, there is Andhra Mahila sabha.. which is pretty good.
    In Mambalam, there is one with lot of middle class retired older people who always plan and go to pilgrimage every year few times with good brahmin vegetarian food and other activities.
    In Nanganallur, there are a few homes for lower middle class level people and since Nanganallur is full of temples and with every festival there are tons of music concerts and kathakalakshebams enjoyed immensely by this generation who live there. Also, for people like mum who are very independent and sensitive, there are lot of one and 2 bedroom apts on rent in Nanganallur and in my mom's building almost 5 out of 8 apartments are owned and occupied by single widowed women like my mom..living peacefully on their own.
    Even for people who don't have much money or children, they can be accomodated in Sivananda ashram by paying upfront some money and doing some service for the ashram children to live there.
    Apart from the above in Chennai, every area in the city has some oldage home or other to care for the aged people. Especially if you have money and willing to spend, then keeping you happy and healthy is very easy.. and you don't need to take any insults from children or anybody and you never need to feel lonely when you have lot of options.. unless you are a sadist.
    In Coimbatore too, i believe there are new constructions exclusively to cater to the needs of old age people....senior community..currently built by a reputed builder.. where you can buy a 2 bedroom or single bedroom cottage kind of places inside a colony and you can avail common facilities like food and timely medical care by paying extra.

    Things are changing in India too but as with any change, the trend setter takes all the heat...but lot of educated retired parents with NRI children, having visited places like US, Canada where social life is virtually NIL, decided to live in India on their own and not blaming the children for not caring for them. In fact they are happy that they are not forced by their children to live with them!!!

    Finally, to highlite, as Kamla says, even if your children adore you, it is better to live on your own with your own age group friendsand activities and let them live happily.

    :wave Geeth Priya.
     
  8. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Geeth Priya,

    From your words, I can understand that you have gone through a lot of bitterness due to In-laws. I am sorry that it happened to you. Try to think of all the nice and positive things in your life and balance off the minuses. I can see that all your experiences will make you a great older person and all the best for you in your old age:)
    You have given a lot of info about old age homes in Chennai. Good to know. I am very keen to know about such homes in Bangalore. Hope some one can give info on that. Or else, may be I should place the question in the Bangalore forum.

    L, Kamla
     
  9. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Dewdrop,

    I am sorry too about the way things ended for your FIL. So true, money can buy everything, but not true love and affection and it cannot bring back people to us. We are all given one chance and it is up to our sensibilities to use to the maximum. Anyways, don't forget. Someone up there is watching us and keeping accounts. Misdeeds will be paid back.
    Thanks for wanting to help. But as mentioned above, I need info about Bangalore.

    L, Kamla
     
  10. kanaka

    kanaka Bronze IL'ite

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    Last week I happened to stay in an oldage home at kerala as a guest. My intention was to check whether I would fit into that kind of life if necesary.
    As you said there are different categories catering to different sections of the society.
    With all the paraphernalias, there is a note of sorrow in the face of many inmates.
    Secondly some of the oldage homes is attached to some mutts. There is no involvement in any activity other than chanting mantras. A:idontgetit: Anything in excess kills the person's interest.
    Another thing I could notice was the money power. People with better finance command respect and facility. Age is not the criteria. people come their due to some compulsions.
    I don't intend to generalise, but these observations makes me feel it is wise to live alone or with someone as far as possible.
    It is painful to see the way the old people are handled-with no respect and grace. kanaka
     

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