THEIR MENTAL HEALTH…?

It is an acknowledged fact that the mental health of the elderly in the contemporary times is not upto the mark. Rather it is in a poor and adverse condition not to talk of its being optimum. Well, prima facie analysis of the modern lifestyle indicates that this adverse condition is mainly due to their detachment from family and immediate relatives at this stage of life. The elders always want to pass the last days of their lifelong journey with all of their family members before their departure from the mundane. Unfortunately, it is really an irony that the members of their families either fail to realize their essence in the family or else due to their job compulsions they are unable to provide the requisite care to them at this crucial phase of life. It is a fact that due to several socio-economic, cultural and politically changing factors, the family has been broken down from joint family comprising grandparents, parents and children (In some cases even uncles and all the cousins) to nuclear family comprising just parents and children, rather a single child, as this norm seems to be in vogue in the present scenario. This has left hardly any space for the elders in such a nuclear family. It is quite disgusting that knowing well that they have also to pass through this stage of life, the family members in a substantial number of cases, consider elders as a burden and even a hurdle in their goal of achieving happiness. It is an open secret that most of the family members prefer to engage paid care-takers instead of themselves taking proper care of their elders. In some cases, it has been observed that the paid care takers have been engaged with the sole intention to convey to the known people and relatives that they care a lot for their elders. All this ultimately results in a precarious situation for these elders who feel totally alone, neglected, having lost even the least importance in the family and last but not the least feel the pinch of un-wantedness in family. All these factors cumulatively affect the psychology of the elders that ultimately takes a heavy toll on their mental health. Today we need to realize that the family is the best space for the elderly during their last days of life to which there is no alternative. The younger generation must understand the importance of a multilayered system in every phase of civilization as it protects the interest of members, ensures safety and security, integrates values, respect and disciplines and renews the race with the unique system of duties and responsibilities according to the age and the gender of the constituent members in a family. While on one hand it is the best place for nurturing a new born, on the other it has the potential of offering the best care to the elderly till their last day. Realizing that living with the family members who care would undoubtedly improve the mental health of the elders. So let every individual in the society initiate measures to restore the traditional family system which guarantees the best mental health and happiness to the elders in the last stage of their life.