At the outset let me clarify – this post was not triggered by Aamir Khan’s Satyameva Jayate.

I was told that the participants were nicely picked up from their homes, put up in a nice hotel, treated very well, given gifts – and they were overall very happy!

Be that as it may, this post is about how people can be classified into a few buckets.

Bucket 1: Happy to go to a Old People’s Home:

There is a set of people who are very clear that they need to go and live in a old people’s home. Generally kids are abroad, or not in a position to look after aged parents – could be handicap, illness, or whatever reason.

Bucket 2: Claim to be happy to go to a OPH:

There is a set of people who will say loudly -“We have no choice, we have to go to a OPH”. They actually expect their kids to say ‘Oh Dad/Mom why should you go to a OPH we are here to take care of you’ – One of the parents told me “I looked after my parents during their old age, so it is my daughter’s DUTY to look after us in our old age”. He further justified it by saying “We did not put her in a creche, we brought her up ….SO she should”.

Bucket 3: It is YOUR DUTY to look after us: Even in this bucket I find people who feel that it is their children’s duty to look after them in their old age. Period.

Bucket 4: WE will live on our own, WE DO NOT NEED A OPH: Here is a category of people who will NOT live with their children, will not live close to their children, will claim that they can live on their own. This is not too difficult -but in a country which is NOT SENIOR CITIZEN friendly at all, this looks tough.

This note is not a criticism, just an observation about the people whom I have met. Frankly I do not have to take a public stand on how people should live and how they should behave.



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  1. Old age homes are the best bet in today’s nuclear family system. I would be in bucket 4 till I can no longer do day-to-day things on my own, which in themselves would reduce to very little after retirement/active duty.
    Old age homes should be thought of as the figurative ‘sannyas’. Actually, in the joint family system, there wasn’t much sannyas…only some pilgrimages followed by continued burden on the younger generation. So young and middle aged people must enjoy the company of their children *NOW*…not expect them to become their servants later.

  2. Good post and the correct way of looking at this issue. This is similar to the culture in the US where children are expected to move out when they are about 18. We may find this odd but to them the contrary is odd.

    With a country as large as ours and with such cultural variations whith khap panchayats at one end and an acceptance of live in relationships and same sex partnerships at the other end we should be very careful before passing judgement.

  3. I think bucked 3 is right., we had to look after our parents in their old age. I saw how my parents looked after my grand parents in their end days (actually its many years). Then I realized (atleast) how we have to look after my parents in their end age. Presently I am still unmarried but had to see how thing GO after marriage., but sending parent to OPH HAD TO BE LAST THING.

    Just to mention I learned how to treat my parents by seeing how they treated their parents., my children will do the same

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