Essay on the Importance of Old Age Homes in India

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With the recent radical transformations in the family setup, with the decline or disappearance of the joint family system replaced by the nuclear family system, there has been a significant impact on society in different sectors such as societal, business, and personal, which has created an alarming situation underlining the growing need for elderly care in metros as well as cities. Discourtesy to the parents has grown and crime has deeply crept into families. It's high time to work for the consolidation of the family system. The term 'family' has its root word from the Latin word 'familia', which means “a group of individuals living together having a biological, social and psychological relationship with each other”, under which a family stays linked with at least five other families. The major factor has been the drastic change in the lifestyles like smoking, alcohol intake, improper diet, and lack of exercise, as well as environmental and other external factors, some for the better and a few with negative consequences. However, senior citizens, referred to as elders, face certain problems as a consequence of this social transformation. This is contemplated in the transformation from the traditional ways of life to modern patterns, which need many compromises and adjustments. One of these involves elderly care centers or old age homes (OAHs). Can caring for aging parents be done in today’s busy life?

According to the latest official figures from the Ministry of Statistics, the number of Indians over the age of 60 has hit an all-time high, accounting for 8.6 percent of the country’s 121.09 crore population. In ancient times in India, the life of an individual was synchronized harmoniously according to the different stages (Ashrams) of life, i.e. studentship (Brahmacharya), householder (Grihastha), forest dweller (Vanprasth) and ascetic (Sanyas), and this division was meant to maintain the discipline, peace, and harmony in the family and society. However, the revolution in the social environment and political scenario changed the patterns of religious beliefs and lifestyles of individuals. And thus, the Indian lifestyle got colored with shadows of cults and cultures. Lifestyle has an impact on longevity and health status in old age. Deteriorations in physical or mental health are often the results of faulty lifestyles. Adopting the advocated principles of Indian concepts of lifestyle (in which principles of Karma (action) and Dharma (the righteous way to perform the work) are given significant value) and paying proper surveillance to mental illnesses of older adults and recognizing their problems may preserve mental health in old age. There are many people who have contributed a lot to society by being teachers, doctors, businessmen, etc. They need to be cared for and provided financial and emotional support at this juncture of life.

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India spends just 1.2 percent of its GDP on healthcare. With the recent initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by 2025, the spending on healthcare as a proportion of GDP will rise to 2.5 percent. With the announcement of the Ayushman Bharat National Health Programme in the budget, promising health coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year, the government has cleared its view to focus on healthcare and the need to step up spending on public health.

Recent advancements made in medical technology have led to enhanced life expectancy, alternatively, with families largely becoming nuclear and children moving across the world, many seniors who may not be very active or mobile, face isolation and caregiving issues. It is very important to understand that older adults are an invaluable resource for younger generations, and change is needed in society’s attitude toward aging. Old age homes are so necessary these days because they can improve the lives of the elderly and those who take care of them.

The aging process is a biological phenomenon that is beyond the bounds of human control. It’s the right time when we should resolve to 'rebuild' the Indian family system which is 'torn by social change' and make our home heaven by giving respect and recognition to our aging parents. And providing more homes for the elderly with the right level of care for them is the first step towards this.

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Essay on the Importance of Old Age Homes in India. (2023, December 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
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