Nepal is a country well known for its unique culture. And from all the beautiful trends we have the best culture in my view is Children taking care of their parents in their old age. But it is very unfortunate these days that this beautiful culture is slowly fading away. Either call it the influence of western culture or gift of the modern society , Children no more have time for their parents.
Issues in old age
Imagine of time when you can’t read newspapers, you can’t differntiate between a 20 rupee note and 5 rupee note, you can’t prepare an omlette yourself, you often forget to take your medicines and what not . That’s what old age is all about. And in this modern society, there is loneliness above all these issues. Parents have to live alone and take care of themselves . In old age even the simplest thing is the most difficult to do. Not like in young age when you have energy ,power and status in the society.
Situation of elderly in foreign countries
Keeping Nepal aside for some time and talking about other countries. According to age UK, over 2 million people over the age of 75 live alone and more than million go over a month without speaking to a friend or nay family member. I am scared that Nepal will be that country very soon. And I am even more terrified to say but I actually see the symptoms.
There are old age homes like never before and also all homes are turning into old age houses with no family members but elderly. And when you visit the streets of Kathmandu you see hundreds of abandoned parents, well let’s not even get there. There are many elderly that are compelled to live in the streets ,live life like an animal .
Causes of loneliness in old age
Old age is tough time . You have multidimensional problems to face and above all these days in Nepal as well Elderly are lonely. Old age loneliness is more common in developed countries and these days in Nepal as well we have this problem rising everyday. The major reason of loneliness in old age is definitely ignorance from their children and relatives . The issue of old age loneliness is much prominent in developed countries.I have tried to explain some reasons of old age loneliness in foreign countries. And apart from that there are few more reasons why elderly feel more lonely and depressed in their old time.
One of the major reason for old age depression is financial difficulties itself. Not just emotional problem, elderly also have to deal with financial difficulties. This causes stress and sadness. It will be difficult to meet all the needs and desires in old age.
Elderly retire during their old age. They no more have same routine after retirement. Elderly miss that daily routine, their work and their office. It may seem like retirement would be fun but actually it is really hard to spend 7 days in a week being still. That’s why retirement is one of the major thing that adds to loneliness in old age.
In developed countries there is trend of care age home. A partner may feel lonely when their other partner get shifted to care homes. You are left all alone in house and that causes loneliness.
Poor physical health
When a person is himself unhealthy and sick there is high chance that person will be depressed. This makes it difficult to socialize and get along with people which eventually adds to loneliness.
Elderly often live in age care homes and that location could be away from your child’s home. Friend’s and family may not be able to visit you frequently because of location difficulties. Families live apart because of jobs and work, this is major reason for loneliness.
Loss of friends and companions
One of the obvious reason is lack of friends and support in old age .Friends of same age die and other people are also busy in their own schedule. This causes severe loneliness to elderly.
Old age is an appropriate time for parents to enjoy life without any concern time to sit back reliving the good old times. Thinking of all the good times and thinking of their life. It is time to live without any concern after fulfilling all the responsibilities, seeing their children achieving their life goals , start their families but all they get is loneliness that leads to depression and even death in many cases. Is this what they deserve especially from their children , to whom they dedicate their life and their earnings ?
As they say there is no friendship, no love, like that of the parent for the child,” We should be sincere and caring enough to take care of them when they most need it, Give them back just one percent of what they have given to us all their life. Be there for them in their hard time ,hold their hand when they are lonely, take care of them when they are sick and cheer them up when they are lonely. But unfortunately in this materialistic society, everybody is short of time . Everyone is busy building their own life and achieving their goals. In this race of staying ahead and becoming successful , old parents are often left behind. And this situation is prevalent not just in Nepal but throughout the world. This situation is really unfortunate and needs to be addressed on time.
I think a prosperous country comprise of happy citizens both the adults and the elderly . Its high time we start taking care of needs of our elderly , work on their happiness and give them a family built with love in their old age, grandchildren with whom they can recall their beautiful childhood .We don’t have to give up our beautiful culture just to be modern and developed. Let’s together build a prosperous and happy Nepal not a developed selfish society.