Do we not know that with the passage of time elderly people suffer from age related problems? One might say, “Obviously so. Koi shak? It is but a natural process of decay that sets into motion with time.” But, how deeply-rooted is this widely held belief? Quite a bit and rightly so.
However, Porosh’s experience dealing with elderly citizens seems to indicate that various so-called age related health issues are often symptomatic of a deeper problem. Let us elaborate it a little bit. There was a time not so long ago when joint family system despite its own set of limitations provided a psychological cushion of sorts to the elderly members of a family by way of daily interaction with the family members who were around to take care of. It was a usual phenomenon to have three generations staying together under the same roof. We ourselves have been part of this system till recently. While son(s) were away from home in pursuit of job you had daughter(s)-in-law and grand-children to interact with. But not any more.
With the advent of nuclear family system elderly parents have to often fend for themselves to say the least. The internal support system which used to be taken for granted till some time back no longer exists. As a result, not only do they feel lonely but also find their daily existence suffocating due to lack of meaningful discussions, or intellectually stimulating conversations with ayah’s and maids. They become forced recluse and soon start to feel useless and a burden on their near and dear ones.
Naturally, they make themselves vulnerable to various health problems like depression, sleeplessness, sugar, BP etc.
It is under these circumstances that the role of professional Care Giver often becomes a game changer. By dint of their professional expertise they can engage in meaningful conversations with the elderly suffering from loneliness. Porosh has been first-hand witness to many such instances when an otherwise spiritless client has once again become cheerful and eagerly awaits the Care Giver’s visit for discussions on current affairs and some friendly banter.
Therefore, what the dependent elderly parents want more than anything else is a decent company to speak and be heard. Otherwise, loneliness becomes a scourge for them. Material riches become immaterial.