The dilemma

The urban concept of nuclear families has had its fair share of perceived and self-evident advantages. On the flip side, however, it hides something that threatens to tear away at the very fabric of the core values of what constitutes family.

The bone of contention laysbetween the aging parents and their children the urban young professionals. Very often parents with children in the city live with their children or live alone in a separate property. There are also parents living alone with the children living abroad or in another city. Both of which lead to a lot of unhappiness, discord, dissent, actual feuds, guilt and a wide array of emotions leading to sometimes very dramatic end results.

The reality of parents living with families of their children is more often than not a situation which gets unhealthy for both the parents and children. The dependent elders are shown to lack in confidence and battle a wide range of emotions all of which are directly detrimental to their health and well-being.  Very often dynamics in these families get ruptured due to misunderstanding, miscommunication, an overall generational and values disconnect and a host of other problems which can escalate very fast into total chaos. Parents living with children abroad have also to deal with climatic, socio cultural, topographical and other changes which studies show is increasingly difficult to deal with as one progresses in years.

For parents living alone the problems are multifold. With reliable help and medical care hard to come by most struggle to maintain the house, which is often old and requires attention.They have to do everything mostly by themselves which includes shopping, paying bills, looking after day to day requirements, cooking, cleaning and everything that entails running a house by themselves. This is often very exhausting and frustrating for many. With crime against the elderly on the rise it is very often unsafe and sometimes just fatal. They are the sitting ducks of criminals who could attack them at home or outside. Parents often lead a miserable life, unhappy, worried, anxious, ‘poverty’ amidst wealth, and are fear stricken, culminating in depression and ill health. Very often loneliness also contributes to actual ill health. Even geriatric medical facilities often take the elderly for an expensive ride.

The whole scenario is complicated with concepts of guilt, Indian culture and ethos which have led to very unhealthy situations and very often the people involved continue to live under this scepter because solutions are hard to come by. Old age homes in India are a concept that is at best primitive and often cause more damage than provide valid solutions. Although there have been some new elderly living facilities it is often found that the marketing collaterals are misleading and the facilities are at best a little better than old age homes. Faced with this dilemma, many continue to live in abject misery often accepting it as a price to pay for modern urban living arrangements.

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