I would like to start by saying, ‘It is all about loving your parents’. Our society and community are where we belong. To bring us into our world, our parents have thought about it right before our birth. They have planned for our birth and when we are brought into this world, we are given so much attention by them, it starts from infant stage where we are kept warm and wrapped up, mother’s milk to provide nourishment and help us survive, father’s duty to see we are provided with comfort and security. When you are new parents mother focuses on feeding and being with her child. Father has to provide with all facilities and look after the mother and child. There is a strong bonding among them. From a toddler to a teenager, we are constantly looked after by our Parents. Our education begins from home and school. With passing year we grow and become a person who is most sought after in his community. Responsibilities multiply, after we become a job holder. As a matured person, we earn for ourselves and cope up with family responsibilities. We become aware about the personal needs; we choose our life partners, marry and bring another life in this world. The cycle goes on and on.
By bringing up children, parents have already completed a major life span, by the time they become grandparents, they have crossed a milestone of their life and now reach the old age. They are like a branch which stoop down to their offsprings. Living as an older person is not a matter of convenience. It is a stage of life that can’t be prevented from happening. Since our birth we are growing to reach the older age before we leave this world. At this stage, we need emotional support from children to make this period memorable with young generations. When parents become grand paa and grand mom, they have more vitality to make the most out of their life. They want to see off springs grow before them. They are happiest and satisfied. The sad part is children completely ignore them. They simply don’t have time for them. In Nepal, old age was never a problem. Old age home was considered a problem of Western culture. Now we cannot blame the west because it is due to our ignorance, we start treating older people like a liability of our nation. The hopes of grandparents are shattered the day when their own children sent them at old age homes and refer them as “relative’s uncle or aunt”. Some are even dropped to streets and this is heart wrenching. With changing times family have become nuclear, the aging population face all the pitfalls. With erosion of joint families and individualistic approach old people are left to fend for themselves. Old people spending their life at old age homes live in desperation. They feel helpless inspite of having their own children. Social changes, intergenerational conflicts, degeneration and urbanization are causing old-age related disease. Three reasons that cause senior citizens to suffer are; financial crisis and lack of hospitality, some parents have enough property but no children to look after them at old age and some don’t feel it is their responsibility to look after their parents despite good income. Lack of strict law and regulation for senior citizens are the reasons they have become neglected by nation, society and family. Some have even faced domestic violence and are dominated by their family.
Each of us will grow old. We can only hope that we have sufficient resources as we slow down. We are not deprived of financial and human resources. With only one elderly care centre in Nepal called “Pashupati Bridda Ashram” the country has no workforce experienced in caring for elderly citizens. They are frail and sick, deprived of care and love marred by acute shortage of everything-water supplies to care takers. All this lead to poor mental health of senior citizens. Apart from meticulous planning for the future and rebuilding family values, they require love and support from us to live their last installments of life peacefully. Our elder citizens are beloved people of the nation. To all the children who become future parents and grandparents hoping that they don’t have to go through the same road must respect the elders. This is primarily about moral education. Remember it is all about loving your parents.