Group Discussion on Old Age Homes/Retirement Home
An old parent staying in an old age home is a common enough phenomenon. But is it desirable? Most elderly people cannot reconcile themselves to the idea of living in old age homes. We, their children, want them to live happily, in peace and preferably in the one place where they have always lived – their own homes. But this is the digital age. Aged parents are often left alone while their children go abroad to live and work. So, the next logical step is to put an old father or mother in an old age home.
The concept of retirement homes is relatively new in India. Old age homes and retirement homes are different. Retirement homes are like normal homes in a gated community, but with extra facilities because the residents are senior citizens. Initially, it had a stigma attached to it: that only abandoned old parents go to retirement homes. But this image is gradually changing. People in Metropolitan cities are increasingly opening themselves to the idea of retirement homes
- Safety is definitely an issue for senior citizens. The steady security in an old age home gives them protection from intruders and helps them live a safe and secure life.
- One of the factors that make old age homes attractive to elders is the companionship. They are in the constant company of people their own age. If their children are away from home, they have to live alone and that can cause stress and depression. Living in an old age home may give rise to feelings of abandonment as well. Loneliness is also an issue. Ideally, there should be a companion at home who can fill this void. Companionship is paramount, especially for those who have lost their spouses.
- The residents get to have a community of their own. They can interact, make friends and enjoy together.
- At well-maintained retirement homes, they get individual care for their condition, be it any kind of sickness, disability or medical condition. Nurses, Caretakers, etc make sure that they are comfortable.
- Retirement homes are usually built in such a manner that injuries due to domestic accidents are minimized. Skid-proof tiles, arthritis-friendly fittings, etc are some of the features that they exhibit.
- The elders get to live a life of dignity. They do not feel like a burden on any of their relatives. They are also treated respectfully amongst their own community as compared to being ill-treated by their relatives.
- Medical facilities are readily available at retirement homes making it easier for the elderly in case of severe emergency or even the slightest of discomfort
Negatives aspects of Old Age Homes
- Any retirement home worth spending the rest of your life in is quite costly for a middle-class family.
- Senior living homes or Retirement homes may sometimes feel secluded from the outer world.
- The residents may feel a lack of connectivity with their family members. Being away from the family for too long can sometimes be depressing for some people.
- What caregivers and nurses cannot substitute is the feeling of being loved by your family members. For them, it’s only a job and there is no connection at a personal level.
- The residents might be ill-treated by the authorities at the retirement homes
All things considered, while there are definite advantages of the elderly living in old age homes, there is no substitute for a full and happy life at home. There are services these days that can take care of their every need, at home. Retirement homes are quite helpful for those who are unable to live with their children for their own reasons. As the demand for retirement homes is increasing, it is very likely that more and more people will venture into this business and as a result, costs may come down.
GD Topic on Old Age Homes/Retirement Home
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