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Taking care of Parents

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agopal

Active member
With so many migrants to US and other countries, aged parents are being left out to live alone in India. I feel guilty for the same. On one hand, we have kids who are growing up in other countries and we want the best for them so we feel compelled to stay here, on the other hand are our parents whom we adore but unable to help physically when they need us most. This is really a personal problem. But in brahmin communties, this seems to be widely prevalent. I'm really eager to hear what as a parent you think and any advice from senior members what the right thing to do is....Is india heading in the right direction for us to migrate back or People see still same old problems . Thanks and any thoughts are really appreciated.
 

T.S.Sankara Narayanan

Active member
Dear Gopalji ,
For the sake of our Grand Children,and purely for the sake of their Brightest Future,and in this Worst Political Situation prevailing in our Country we have no other Option except to Tolerate this.

Our community is the worst affected Community in India.

We were Denied Education,Employment,and even on Promotions in Govt Depts because of Evil and Use less Reservation Policies.

When we are thinking that the Govt will Scrap Reservation Quota the Govt is now expanding Reservations to Minorities also.

Each and Every Brahmin must be Proud of being in Brahmin Community because Our Community is the Only Community in India regularly performing even Pithur Karyams to Parents after their Demise.

Joint Family Culture was Taught in All Brahmins Houses of Those Days.
But un fortunately days are changing.Oppurtunities are declining for our Younger generation children.

We must unite together Form Old Age Homes at every Districts to drive away our Loneliness along with Grand Children if their parents are working abroad.

Some kind of sacrifise must be initiated for the sake of the children.
We must do it as a bounded duty.
 
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nachi naga

Guest
old age homes for parents in india can be started.children can visit and love parents this way also.its just that,we need a push and shove to change.parents feel happier in a peer group set up.no family fights or dominations or any suppression for anyone.but,of course such changes,if started from a matham will bring some sanctified sanctum feeling of living in old age homes,as most tambrahms are spiritual in godly sense not in other spirited sense.
 

sankara_sharmah

Active member
This phenomena is not new. Did it not happen when we/our parents left the villages and settled down in Madras or some other city?

I remember the annual visit to the village to see my grandparents. My village was full of old people whose children had migrated to the cities. Often the children left their kids with the Grandparents. All of us were with our Grandparents for some years at least.

The older generation migrated from the village to the cities. This in effect broke up the joint family system. There were many evils of the joint family system. My father had to take care of the children of all his brothers because they never bothered.

Tell me what is the difference between leaving Mudikondan (insert your village name) and shifting to Chennai, and leaving Chennai and going off to Australia?

These are the hypocrisies our children condemn us for.

My father continued to stay alone with my mother in the village till he was 85. He had six children. We had to force them to shift to Chennai. Till the end they never got adjusted.

The ideal situation is to redevelop and rejuvenate our old agraharams where the old Brahmins can stay together in Peace.
 

kr subramanian

Active member
Let us be frank. I am asking children who have taken aged parents with them and stayinhg in joint family. How many are really happy? Many are there who could not move out of house. Either husband or wife has to stay in the house to look after old ones. Even after looking after old ones whenever time gets old ones will grumble and will not be satisfied withwhat we do. They will interfere in everymatter. No freedom for us. They will be speaking high of relatives who come for a day or two and talk sweetly with old ones. By taking old ones with us neither we nor the old ones are happy. We actually fear society and keep them with us.
 
Those who are feeling loneliness - about 5 or 6 can join together and stay in a place. Whenever their sons/daughters with their children come to India It will be happy moment to everyone and in the same time they will helpful to each other during sick and emergency - THIS IS NOTHING BUT AS A JOINT FAMILY. But in joint family everyone will be of same family, it is different.
C S MUTHUKRISHNAN
 

sapthajihva

Active member
... By taking old ones with us neither we nor the old ones are happy. We actually fear society and keep them with us.
I have to express my strong disagreement with this statement...

Is it not a reciprocal duty to serve those without whom we would not be?

Should it not be our very nature love them, not just to reciprocate their love and patience during our years of innocence?

Is it not ulterior if we think that we cannot be happy with our parents around?

Is it not cheating if happiness is divided between the old and the young?

It is all in our minds. Let us love and respect and share our happiness with our parents. Let us honour love & happiness by honouring our parents.

There could be difference of opinion, different interests etc., but why should they be restraints to love?

My freedom, my happiness, my satisfaction, lies in seeing my parents being happy and cared for, by me.
 

suraju06

Well-known member
Well said Sapthajihva. A society which ignores the elders, a society in which the younger generation is not able to live in peace with the elder generation is a philistine society. However intelligent,ambitious, hardworking and affluent the younger generation may be, if it is not able to respect the elders right to live the rest of their lives the way they want,it is bound to end up in misery. Having said that it is also pertinent to point out that the elder generation should not become too dependent or too overbearing on the younger generation. They should let the youngsters meet their challenges, succeed or fail and learn,live their life fully without hovering in the background and interfering often. If better sense prevails on both sides it will be good. Other wise the society is doomed as the children learn from their parents how to treat elders when they are weak and old.
 
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nachi naga

Guest
matha pitha athithi guru ishwara is the vedic dictum.so,parents by living seperate prefer amongst some families.my mother was a classic example even after dad died.dad made her so independent,she in her later years preferred to stay seperately after i got married.my sisters brothers in law were more notional of attributing the house as appa amma veedu even though i was taking care ,the amount of stres i had to undergo was lik the devil and deep sea.so,in my life,i prefered to listen to my mom's version of living seperate though i fought tooth and nail to stay together.bt life with all its complexities won and i lost,the value that i cherished,of stayng as one unit.the blame is on me only,as i could not handle egos of queen size a well as my ego.so,its not easy for a guy to manage evrybody,when constantly,the son is compared with pops way of life.
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
I have to express my strong disagreement with this statement...

Is it not a reciprocal duty to serve those without whom we would not be?

Should it not be our very nature love them, not just to reciprocate their love and patience during our years of innocence?

Is it not ulterior if we think that we cannot be happy with our parents around?

Is it not cheating if happiness is divided between the old and the young?

It is all in our minds. Let us love and respect and share our happiness with our parents. Let us honour love & happiness by honouring our parents.

There could be difference of opinion, different interests etc., but why should they be restraints to love?

My freedom, my happiness, my satisfaction, lies in seeing my parents being happy and cared for, by me.

:yo:
 

sankara_sharmah

Active member
There is no solution which would fit all cases.

Depends on the attitude of the parents and the children.In the old days the old people were happy staying in the village. Now there are many parents who prefer to stay alone rather than move in with their children.

The emphasis should be (as discussed threadbare in many old-age seminars) on the dignity of the parents. They should not be made to feel unwanted and redundant. This again depends on their own attitude.

Old age homes are no longer considered Destitute homes. The correct terminology for them is Retirement homes. Our villages in the past were ideal places for old people. Lot of help was available. Cooks, servants and emergency help. But these are no longer available in most of the villages now.

We all care for our parents. It is better to discuss the plans with the parents first and decide. There are retired professors who are happy doing household work in the son's house in U.S. But not all parents would be happy. Many would like to continue to stay in a place where they have their own circle of friends and admirers.

Again the attitude will change with age. When the friend die one by one and when they fall sick, the parents may like to move in with the children.

Talk to your parents and find a solution. Do not be led by peer group pressure and the thought of what others would think of you. The only thing that matters is that the parents should be happy.

I envy the people in the posh retirement homes in Florida. Some one had advertised that they were planning to have such homes in India. But the project does not seem to have taken off.

There are many religious organizations like the Chinmaya Mission who have retirement homes. There are old people who would feel happy in such an environment.

Hinduism believes that in the old age, you think more and more of GOD. Time to turn Spiritual. Learn not to be bothered about grand children's eduction or weddings when you are 70 years old. Again it is easier said than done. Not all people develop this attitude.
 

Iyest

Active member
We were brought up in a large joint family. Experiences were largely positive. Some of us cousins were (and still are) closer to each other than to our own biological brothers and sisters. Unfortunately the next generation has migrated abroad, more or less for good. A long tradition has been broken. When some of my cousins visit, they have to now introduce their grown up kids to us which I find hilarious. Soon we may see grandchildren being introduced to their grandparents!

An old aunt of mine went abroad a few decades back. Mothers day was being celebrated. Her grandchild tried to explain that it was the one day in a year when everybody tried to speak to their mother or at least think of her and what she had done. The old woman replied 'we have it every year also, we call it sraadam!'.

Whether to care for a parent or not is a personal decision. Parents live long these days and age brings up the need for additional and special care. The next generation is going to live even longer. Everyone has to face it one day or the other. Our children may not make the same decision that we did. In my extended family we asked ourselves a simple question. 'If somebody has to care for our parents, why not us?' Then again, major illness may not make it feasible.

During my visits abroad, I found many western families taking care of their parents and adjusting their lives accordingly. This was a major surprise, since I was under the wrong impression that nobody cared for their parents in the west like they do in India.
 

kr subramanian

Active member
From previous many replies it could be seen that majority are of the opinion to keep old ones (not only parents) in a separate place where they can be with their own age group and share their experiences. This thought which was seen by society as PAPA years back has changed.
Hence people atthe ageof 50s and 60s or even younger do now book (according to their purse) old age homes so that they need not be a block to their next generation.
The attitude that if I look after my parents (grumbling and shouting at each other)then only my children will look after me is dying.

Many children (whether in foreign or India) are willing to help monetarily but not physically.
As I know that in the joint family I cannot satisfy previous and next generation I would rather let down the older generation. Also I am fully aware that my chiuldren would let me down preferring their next generation;
 

amala

Well-known member
I want to start by saying that I know I'm going to get brickbats and bashed up for saying this but I cannot, I truly for the life of me cannot even comprehend or imagine (and I have a pretty fertile imagination) how someone or some people (ie kids, spouse) who come into our lives "yesterday" become/ are more important than people we know for years and year. People who have done everything for us when we were at our most vulnerable, people who would give their lives for us if we asked them to, people who wiped our poo, vomit....well you get my drift (ie parents).

I am also fully aware that I'm saying this because I haven't got any kids nor am I married and that when I do perhaps...only perhaps, I might think differently. I have observed sooo many people doing soo much for their kids, and what do their kids do? Make parents cry, unhappy. Children are thankless ingrates. Leeches. That is the conclusion i have come to looking around. Perhaps I'm being a tad harsh, but this is what I see. And yet we give up on our elders for this lot who tomorrow will spit on us after we do all the dirty work for them? We abandon our parents for our children because we understandably cannot cope with both.

I feel so despondent reading krsji's last line. "I am fully aware that my chiuldren (sic) would let me down preferring their next generation". I would never wish this awareness on any parent. Never.
 
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nachi naga

Guest
amala

your status i hope remains the same even if marriage kids happen in your life.each persons life is unique,katta - meetha ,thithippu - kasappum are life.nice to see such noble qualities as young as you.
 

Iyest

Active member
I want to start by saying that I know I'm going to get brickbats and bashed up for saying this but I cannot, I truly for the life of me cannot even comprehend or imagine (and I have a pretty fertile imagination) how someone or some people (ie kids, spouse) who come into our lives "yesterday" become/ are more important than people we know for years and year. People who have done everything for us when we were at our most vulnerable, people who would give their lives for us if we asked them to, people who wiped our poo, vomit....well you get my drift (ie parents). .

Yes indeed. No brickbats from here. In fact I would go a bit further and ask. 'Is it even necessary for a parent to have done a lot for me in order for me to take care of him/her in old age'? Suffice to say, one of my parents was not exactly a role model. Yet the children never thought of not taking care of the person in old age.

I noticed many of our migrant people in the west spending a lot of time and effort in getting the right pet food for their dogs and cats. Even while their parents are languishing of neglect in some town back home. That's todays brahmin for you! :mad2:
 

Raghy

Well-known member
Sow.Amala,

When you gather more experience in life, your position will refine a lot more. Not necessarily all the parents are selfless nurtures of their children; on the other hand, not all the children are thankful towards their parents. I have seen both the extremes.

I agre with Sri.Sapthjhiva. We have an obligation to look after them to the best of our ability. I high lighted about the ability, because I heard someone saying 'my parents did only so much; so, I am obliged to do only this much'; when I heard that kind of excuse, it sounded silly.

I agree with Sri.Raju's balanced approach in this matter.

Cheers!
 

sankara_sharmah

Active member
I want to start by saying that I know I'm going to get brickbats and bashed up for saying this but I cannot, I truly for the life of me cannot even comprehend or imagine (and I have a pretty fertile imagination) how someone or some people (ie kids, spouse) who come into our lives "yesterday" become/ are more important than people we know for years and year. People who have done everything for us when we were at our most vulnerable, people who would give their lives for us if we asked them to, people who wiped our poo, vomit....well you get my drift (ie parents).

I am also fully aware that I'm saying this because I haven't got any kids nor am I married and that when I do perhaps...only perhaps, I might think differently. I have observed sooo many people doing soo much for their kids, and what do their kids do? Make parents cry, unhappy. Children are thankless ingrates. Leeches. That is the conclusion i have come to looking around. Perhaps I'm being a tad harsh, but this is what I see. And yet we give up on our elders for this lot who tomorrow will spit on us after we do all the dirty work for them? We abandon our parents for our children because we understandably cannot cope with both.

I feel so despondent reading krsji's last line. "I am fully aware that my chiuldren (sic) would let me down preferring their next generation". I would never wish this awareness on any parent. Never.

Before I post my response, let me say that I am a senior citizen with children and grand children. I stay with my wife. I have refused to move in with any of my children.

Now Amala, tell me Did your parents do anything which all the parents over the ages have been doing? It is the Duty of the parents to take care of the children. They are supposed to take care of them to the best of their ability. Parents have always showered affection on their children. So I do not think We (myself and my wife) have done anything great or unique by bring up our children, tending to them at the time of sickness, giving them the best of education etc. etc. It was my habit to buy my children things which I would not buy for myself. I wanted them to be better educated, richer, and have more comforts than I ever had. Most Parents do.

I expect that my children will do the same towards their children. It is their duty having been responsible for bringing them to this world.

About the Duty towards parents, I look at what I have done. My parents were in the village where they were held in high regard till they were very old. Then we (six of us) forced them to shift. My father did not want to. I was inclined to agree with him. But then I was in a minority.

My parents were not always happy with what we were doing. They found it difficult to communicate with my children who spoke more in English than in Tamil. But all the Grand children loved the grand parents and still remember the visits to the village.

So these things go on from generation to generation. There is nothing unique about the present generation.

There is absolutely no reason to feel guilty.
 
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nachi naga

Guest
ss

so beautifully written post.my parents were like that,for some wired reason,they had to be independent,and now being old and wise ( think so ) know exactly the sentiment's behind their weirdo actions.i love my kids,will not hesitate to move in with them,if i am wanted,have a riot with my grand kids,and become a baby all over again....gurgle giggle dah duh..:)
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
I want to start by saying that I know I'm going to get brickbats and bashed up for saying this but I cannot, I truly for the life of me cannot even comprehend or imagine (and I have a pretty fertile imagination) how someone or some people (ie kids, spouse) who come into our lives "yesterday" become/ are more important than people we know for years and year. People who have done everything for us when we were at our most vulnerable, people who would give their lives for us if we asked them to, people who wiped our poo, vomit....well you get my drift (ie parents).

I am also fully aware that I'm saying this because I haven't got any kids nor am I married and that when I do perhaps...only perhaps, I might think differently. I have observed sooo many people doing soo much for their kids, and what do their kids do? Make parents cry, unhappy. Children are thankless ingrates. Leeches. That is the conclusion i have come to looking around. Perhaps I'm being a tad harsh, but this is what I see. And yet we give up on our elders for this lot who tomorrow will spit on us after we do all the dirty work for them? We abandon our parents for our children because we understandably cannot cope with both.

I feel so despondent reading krsji's last line. "I am fully aware that my chiuldren (sic) would let me down preferring their next generation". I would never wish this awareness on any parent. Never.

Dear Amala,

Quite often I used to feel that, life has nothing to do with human feelings.

As a child to our parents, we expect them to laugh and cry with us. When we grow up as an independent individual and after marriage, unfortunately most of us become so matured to calculate, what our parents did for us and what they deserve in return.

Parents sacrifice a lot for the sake of their children and this is the basic tendency of a true human. Children do their level best possible in turn to their parents (off course can never be in compensation) to the best of their capacity and ironically this in many cases does not happen. Some children think that it's the duty of the parents to do everything for them, for ever. They fail to consider their parents as individuals who could not satisfy themselves with many of their desires and their happiness was always to see their children happy.

Once children get married, they get busy into the hectic schedules of understanding the new relationship, adjusting with their spouse, planning for the family and struggling to cope with the environment for better prospects. Though parents could adjust themselves with the family of their children, at least owing to their dependency, the new inhabitant could hardly spare their love & respect and could develop caring attitude towards their FIL & MIL. Children with their conscious, unfortunately get caught in the middle and could not help themselves to help their parents.

In most of the cases children had to keep their eyes closed and heart hard to keep their parents away and the parents were sentimentally forced to accept detachment, understanding the situation and need to live alone for the sake of their children.

Its a strange world and complex life Amala....As long as we carry love & respect towards our parents and take care of them with true sense of caring to the best of our capacity, I believe we need to convince our self that we are true humans. When life situations fails to support our desires to take care of our parents personally, at least we should be mindful of showing love to our parents and take the best possible initiatives for their safe and peaceful survival till their end.
 
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renuka

Well-known member
dear all,

Even though i am married and have a 10 year old son..i have never felt that i have my husband and son on my proirity list..
I have a special place for everyone be it father,mother,Inlaws,husband,son and brothers..
there is no priority..the person who is in need at the present moment becomes the priority..
I favor no one and I neglect no one..


I live 15 mins away from my parents..i am there for them..I am the demonstrative one when it comes to affection for my parents..
being easily available to them..i sometimes land up as their punching bag too..

Its Mata,Pita,Guru,Deivam..
I dont see Pati/Patni/Putra/Putri anywhere...It because not everyone in this world marries so Pati/Patni/Putra/Putri will not be there for everyone..
Mata,Pita,Guru,Deivam are essential..

Why should anyone neglect parents..then why do even Pinda Daan..if our priorities need to change..

Just Love All and Serve All in a Karmanyevaadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadacana fashion..that would be the best..
after all when we die we die alone..so why even make a priority list..
 

SuryaKasyapa

Active member
....As long as we carry love & respect towards our parents and take care of them with true sense of caring to the best of our capacity, I believe we need to convince our self .....................

Love and care for one's parents, siblings,children are just natural feelings, and instinct. The instinct loses its natural flow due to lack of contact or separation from quite early childhood, any feeling of depravation due to that separation,or a wrong perception of things.

Except in the specific cases of rock solid hate,(which are very less compared to majority normal relationship), in all other cases there will always be a sense of guilt and and later a feeling of regret.

Today's' parents were yesterdays' children. I have seen that if the mutual relationship ,respect and care to each other runs in the family, the later generations also imbibe same feeling naturally by habit. The actual way it is implemented may vary according to ground situations.

In some families, I have seen that the relationships are put back when the son/daughter gets married, and the new entrant to the family(spouse) tries a patch up.

Many times the gaps seem to be there due to the perceptions, non-accommodating ego.

At the end....one gets what one deserves..( Kuduthu vachathu- means what was given/done by one earlier)

In malayalam, there is a saying
"
' Appooppannu kuthiya paala appanu-

அப்பூப்பனு குத்திய பாளை அப்பனு--

the paaala(serving plate made of arecanaut leaf) used for the grandfather is now for the father. "

The grandson had seen how his father was illtreating his grandfather. So he secretly preserved the leafy plate and served food to his own father in his old days. When his father asked what he is doing ,he answered as the saying quoted.This reminded his father how he behaved with his father.......

Let everybody remember this..


Greetings.
 
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RVR

Well-known member
Life expectancy is going up continuously and according to WHO report, those who were born at the end of 20th century will be alive throughout the 21st century.

WHO | Global life expectancy reaches new heights but 21 million face premature death this year, warns WHO

In such a scenario, there are likely to be more social problems. I expect at least two generations of retired people at home and it is difficult to imagine as to who will take of the retired people.

I wish some sort of social security scheme is introduced by the Government so that senior citizens are fully protected at their old age. Otherwise it may be impossible for the younger generation to take care of two generations of older people. I am saying this purely as a social protective measure and I am not suggesting that the younger generation should not take care of older generation. At least the monetary portion could be taken care off through social security. There has to be proper mindset for the younger generation to support them morally and physically.

All the best
 

sunkan

Active member
while on this subject let me tell you another incident, my aunt that is chithappa's wife used to treat us like dirt make us stand outside the gate and never allow inside, she was very proud that she is affluent and can do without us, both her sons are abroad and have no time for her, chithappa passed 3 yrs ago and now she is in ICU with none around, as we have not felt any affinity to a person who behaved so badly all her life, likewise i feel elders too should curb their attitude and treat all alike who knows god will leave us in whose hands in the last part of journey, so being nice and keeping a good emotional bond is not going to hurt but let go the ego and be nice, so that there may be more tears in your death rather than a quarrel over your body for your booty...sunkan
 
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