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Ways to take care of elderly parents back in India?

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by pooja, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. pooja

    pooja New IL'ite

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    Dear Ladies,

    I would like to start a thread to discuss the situation that many ladies face. When I left India looking for better opportunities, my parents were of working age and were able to take care of themselves well.

    Now, as they age back in India, their care is starting to worry me. If I had a sibling that lives with them, I would be less worried. Even my brother is in Australia and hence my parents are alone back in India. I am sure many Indian Ladies abroad are in simliar situation. How are you all taking care of this situation?
     
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  2. Rogo

    Rogo New IL'ite

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    Hi Pooja,

    Even I am in the same situation. I am only daughter to my parents and lost my father when i was in school.So my mom lives alone and basically a introvert and doesn’t have much friends .When I came to US she went under depression. I was really worried and tensed abt my mom all the time.
    I made her shift to a different town where my uncle lives so that she gets some company.
    Also I made her visit me ...she was so happy when she was with me ...
    Sometimes I really wonder who made this stupid concept where only those who have sons can live with their kids.what do others like my mom do ? y so much partiality ?
    Till date I have not got an answer for that .....

    Anyways best thing you can do is make them live closely to your relatives and friends..so that they get good company and also if they wish they can take up some classes or social service activities to keep them busy
     
  3. GPriya

    GPriya Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi Pooja and Ilites,

    The best way to take care of the aging parents (in India) should be left to their choice.

    Some parents would prefer living with their children..as they are emotionally very attached to the children. In this case, whatever you do by way of financial and others, you just cannot satisfy them. They need family around no matter what..in a way, such parents are very cooperative and helpful too..

    Some parents would prefer to be on their own. In this case independence is good as long as both parents are alive. If one prediseases the other, depends on how strong the other, they decide whether to continue living alone or join the kids for the rest of their life. In my personal opinion, if a mother dies and father lives, father never wants to be independent, he wants to be with children, as men are lazy right from childhood and they want to be cared for until they die. But if mother lives longer, like my mom and my 2 aunts (in the age range 65,70,73) they all are retirees and have their own apartment and living on their own, visiting children once in a while for a change. Most single mothers especially if they were employed before, would prefer their independence than adjusting with DIL/SIL in a foreign land.

    Some parents due to lack of finacial independence, have to adjust with children and lead a lousy life by adjusting with them and at the same time, behaving in such a way to prove that they are superior over children though they haven't got enough money. Well, such people exist in India a lot.

    The bottom line here is to have an open talk with parents and express your concern about their safety, security and health issues and find out what exactly it is they want and try to understand how best you can accomodate them based on their needs, interests and finally the least a son or daughter can do to the aging parent is to support them financially, morally, emotionally if not physically.

    The options are if the parent is not too old, or healthy, buy an apt and provide all necessary facilities to keep them their comfortably. If it is a single parent and if your lifestyle is not offending your parent, then you can accomodate them physically. If not, there are so many old age homes in various budget ranges are available all over India and you can try and settle them there, so that you can bear the cost and at the same time, you can provide a life for them with likeminded people for companionship.

    It all depends on the mindset of the older people. Some may not want to disturb/or adjust with kids. Some may want the kids to adjust with them irrespective of the hardships..so eventually whatever brings peace of mind for both parent and kids, should be considered.

    I guess that concludes my opinion on the issue.

    Regards,
    Geeth Priya
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. roopadadia

    roopadadia Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Friends,

    I am surprised to see that this is such an important topic and only a couple of replies...maybe this thread got lost in the n nos. of new posts that come up everyday.

    Dear girls, why do you feel that parents can live only with sons and not with the daughters. If your husband is good to understand that your parents are as important as his in your life, then you can always get your parents to stay with you ...if not they can stay in the vicinity so that you are always around in case they need you.

    GPriya, seems to me a very practical person. But my dear after a certain age what the elders need is an emotional bonding not just money/materials. But if the parents are not ready to adjust with their DILs then its a different question.

    I am eagerly waiting to see others viewpoints.
     
  5. sanravi_1970

    sanravi_1970 Gold IL'ite

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    Good topic, even i used to think abt them, their health always !!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  6. ManuuRaghuu

    ManuuRaghuu Senior IL'ite

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    Hi All,

    I appreciate Pooja for starting this thoughtful thread and all others for sharing their views.Bow

    Me and my husband discuss on this topic frequently as as both my inlaws and parents are staying alone in India since 2 years ,after our marriage.Both of our siblings are living abroad and one of them in a different city in India.We help both our parents and inlaws financially when any such need arises and send surprise gifts to them on important ocassions like Bdays and Anniversaries.We also try to arrange trips to piligrimages/sightseeing for them whenever we feel that they are getting bored or feel lonely.This way we are able to make them happy to an extent which is giving us lot of happiness and satisfaction inturn.Inviting them here to stay along with us for sometime is undoubtedly a good option.

    I totally agree with GPriya...she has beautifully explained parents of different mentalities and priorities.:clapWe have to support them accordingly by discussing openly.

    Hoping to receive many more responses on this topic...

    Regards,
    ManuuRaghuu
     
  7. keshavkutts

    keshavkutts Senior IL'ite

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    I have always been thinking about this since the time I left my mom and came here to US.
    Few things I just don't compromise doing...
    1. Calling her every day ( I have a VOiP - internet connected phone service here and in chennai - India) for which i pay for from US. Also she can make calls to me when ever she wants and its free!!
    2. Made sure she is financially safe. Transfer funds every three months.
    3. Given her medical insurance.
    4. Never forget to send her some gifts on her b'day / diwali / mothers day etc.
    5. send my son's pictures by USPS (reaches her in 5 business days & is just $3) it makes her so happy.

    Always tell her that she is the most important person in my life and what Iam today is bcos of her.
    She has visited me twice in the last 3 yrs...thanks to my husband. He is just too good.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
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  8. vv123

    vv123 New IL'ite

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    Hi Ilites,

    This is a very imp topic and I am suprised to see that there are not much responses here.

    I am also in a similar situation ... and I would really appreciate if someone can give me a solution to this..

    My parents are very old. I have a elder sis who stays in India and a elder bro who stays in LA and myslef in India. we all are married with kids except for my bro. It's been 11 yrs but still no kids. But my parents never forced them to answer. We kept waiting for the news every year but no way. Last time when I was in US my parents spoke to my bro and SIL. She asked them if there is any problem or they are not interested in having kids. They said that is not the case. They have done all the tests and the results are normal. Everything will be alright soon. After that my parents did not trouble them much. But if we talk on this topic they simply ignore it especially my SIL. She does'nt even talk about this to her parents. we don't know what is going wrong. As a couple they seem to be happy. My SIL did not do anything for 7 yrs after rmarriage. But after 7yrs she wrote an entrance exam and she did a fashion designing course from a very good institute and now she is working. I sometimes think she did all this just becoz she wants to find some meaning in life ? I don't know.
    Now for the past 31/2 yrs they have'nt come to India. They are giving excuses that SIL is too busy and that's why they can't come to India and that she is doing pretty well now in terms of job and studies. We saw them 2 yrs back when we were in US. They had come to visit us.

    Now the prob - my parents are too old now. I stay in Pune and they are in Bombay. I keep visiting them or they come to my place. The fact is that is my daughter was very small when I was back from US and they had to regularly come for my help. Last few months back my mom was very sick. She is ok now. She's got many health probs. That time my bro said he will come. But then when she was ok my mom asked him to come later. But we told him to come and atleast talk about the future.. about my bro and parents staying together. When we asked them if he is coming back to India for good (he's a american citizen).. he said that he will come but what about my SIL. She is doing well now and probably she will stay back. This means that they will stay separately and he will make frequent visits to US. We told him that my parents can't come to US since they both are working. They will feel left out and moreover india is the best placce for them. We asked them to come and atleast talk openly. He said he will. But no idea when will he come. My SIL refused to come now. She said she might be able to make a visit only after 5 mths. too busy with her work.
    Somehow something is wrong somewhere. I don't know.. they are not opening up. Are they trying to avoid coming to india as everyone will ask about kids.. i don't know.
    when asked about the tests they have done.. they said that they have done all the tests and they are perfectly fine.

    Now all this affecting my parents especially my mom. she is very very depressed. My bro just calls for the sake of calling but we don't have anything to talk. My SIL most of the times does'nt come on phone.

    Now the thing is what will my parents do ? I was asking them to go to an ashram and stay .. i know they will be happy there..

    Vidya
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
  9. Riz1

    Riz1 New IL'ite

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    HI Pooja,

    I have similar situation as my mother has expired and my dad is alone in india, so i make sure i go there every year and get him here in summer and i keep in touch with my cousins and aunts and have hired one trusted maid but still i am all the time worried about him and make the best of it as it make possible but it is tough and emotional stress ful and makes me gulity
     
  10. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Hi,
    I am sure all the parents would have been very happy when you all went to other countries, would have been happy that their children are lucky to be in that country. And slowly they would have realised, and you yourself, that they will have to stay here in India or come over to an alien country and adjust.
    You cannot have everything in life, you have to understand. And even people living in India are not able to care for their parents sometimes due to work pressure. Parents should not take this too seriously and should understand that the work is important for their children.
    There are lots of good old age homes springing up in our country. That is the best option for old people, so that they need not worry about anything.
    Take a practical decision after consulting with all concerned.
     

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