Nepal, being a village-dominant country has almost quarter of its population comprising older people (60+ age group) according to the census report and it is found that the population of older people is gradually increasing. The 60+ aged group people are called dependant and inactive people . Elder people are a vital part of the society where we live in. But it is also a bitter truth that older people are not treated well so far in the family or in a society at present context. The world is dynamic or changeable. We all become old after definite period of time.
This is continuous and natural process. In fact, when a man grows older, he/she becomes physically as well as mentally helpless and week. As a result, his/her working capacity gets decreased physically. It is beyond a man’s control to grow older. As Nepal, a developing country is moving along with this ever changing and inevitable modernization at great speed, it is neglecting the fact that elder people are to be respected. Obviously, older people are much more experienced about the most things we talk about in our daily lives.
They had lived their life through many ups and downs than we, so called modern human have done so far. We might call ourselves a literate and modern people but do keep in mind that only getting multiple degrees do not make a man wise, honest and intellectual. They (elders) might be illiterate but they have far more knowledge than us. There is the condition of being alone for the old people in today’s society where people wish to have modern nuclear family. It is also due to their busy life, their dream to be rich quickly, generation gap and so on.
Being a successful business man, a son doesn’t like to live with his old parents. He suddenly forgets the hard labors of parents for getting their son to a boarding school, forgets the words he kept while his father walked him around carrying on shoulder about giving happiness like no one ever have imagined, forgets the warmth of his mother and that pat on shoulder of his father. He doesn’t even bother to ask what his parents wish for to keep them happy. This behavior of every grown up children has compelled every old parents to enter elderly homes.
So many old people having their sons and daughters in their family have to live separately. Despite having physical facilities at elderly homes, there is not emotional attachment between grandparents and grandchildren as it is experienced at homes. Old age in itself is not a problem. People’s activities create problems for old people at this age. Due to this reason, old aged people have become a great problem in recent world. Older people are the creator of the society. Social and cultural traditions area transmitted to new generation by them.
They do have their needs and wishes. They also have the right to live their life comfortably. Society as well as country should address this issue as the first priority. But foremost each individual must be aware about treating elder people. Academic courses should be provided with the roles & importance of elder people in the society. Elder people when given suitable opportunities can be creative. We have read many great novels, literatures written by senior citizens. They should be motivated in doing productive works during their leisure time.
Families play an important role. Most elders live their life alone doing nothing at all but instead they should be made socially active so that they can share their views among others. As older people becomes physically weak, they should be provided nutritious balanced diet, their health should be checked up time and again, they should not be involved in hard work, etc. Change is inevitable and it should start from us and since, “Action speaks louder than words”, our good act will lead to success.
Courtney from Study Moose