Introduction

‘’Nobody on earth can ever love you more than your parents’’.

In Pakistan, parents are considered as next to God. Here people respect their parents so much that they consider it as a sin to disobey their parents. Pakistani parents expect their children to look after them in old age. When their son gets married, they are overjoyed by the arrival of daughter in law, feeling more secure and comfortable. Most of the Pakistani families respect their parents and take good care of them but unfortunately there are people who treat their parents as liabilities and making them feel neglected. Of course, there are rare cases when parents themselves prefer the privacy of old age homes but in the majority of cases, it is the cold attitude of children that forces parents to move to old age homes.

Causes

Because of the following reasons, elderly people take the painful decision to move to these homes.

*Sometimes grown-ups fail to realize their duty and are so much engrossed in their personal lives that they feel it a burden to keep the parents with them. They feel it as an interference in their personal lives and eventually tell their parents that they cannot keep them.

* The ego clash between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law causes too much stress in the house and the situation comes at such the worst that they cannot live together.

* New generation is becoming more materialistic and their attitude towards parents is changing. They seem to have lost their patience

Effects

* Many people experience loneliness and depression due to stay in old age homes as a result of living alone or due to lack of close family ties and reduced connections with their culture of origin, which results in an inability to actively participate in the community activities.

* Stay in old age home may lead to serious health-related consequences. It is one of the 3 main factors leading to depression and an important cause of suicide and suicide attempts. Loneliness was related to poor psychological adjustment, dissatisfaction with family and social relationships.

* The presence of perceived loneliness in old age home contributed strongly to the effect of depression on mortality. Thus, in the oldest old, depression is associated with mortality only when feelings of loneliness are present. Depression is a problem that often accompanies loneliness. In many cases, depressive symptoms such as withdrawal, anxiety, lack of motivation and sadness mimic and mask the symptoms of loneliness

Conclusion

It’s not an easy decision for the parents. But, they have to move to these houses when they can no longer tolerate the insult or they are told by their stone-hearted children to leave the house. Old age home is their last resort or where else would they go? People must realize their responsibility towards the parents who need physical and emotional support in the late years of their life. In a country like Pakistan where old people are given a lot of respect there should be no need of old age homes because their children should take care of them. If more old age homes would be there, their children will leave them there. Pakistan will lose its traditions by this step. It is our primary duty to look after parents till the end of their life. They have done lot for us. What we are today is only because of them. They have sacrificed many things in their life for our sake. We can say they are responsible for our physical existence without which we would not have survived on this earth. As such we must not encourage setting up of more and more Old Age Homes. We shall think of looking after them and also educate others also to follow this in their families. They are the greatest asset to us. They are the light of our life. Let our parents live long with lots of happiness. This is equal to worshipping the God.