An old age home houses elderly people who either have no family or have been abandoned by their families.
The home usually has a caretaker who monitors the residents of the house and a few helpers to take care of the residents.
A visit to an old-age home is a life-changing experience as it is filled with emotions and sentiments. I had an opportunity to visit an old-age home as my cousin was a volunteer for a local NGO and it was on the occasion of The International Day of Service.
The old-age home was situated on the outskirts of the city and was close to the national highway. It was a two-story building with a garden out in the front and a small temple just on its east boundary. The home’s walls were old, and the paint had worn off. It looked like the house was without maintenance for years together. There was an elderly lady who was peeking through the window on the first floor when we opened the gate.
When we entered the home, we were surprised as there were more people than we had imagined. There was a common room where elderly men and women aged 60 to the late 80s were seen. Some of them were indulged in watching the television, some were sipping tea and chatting, some ladies were busy knitting, and others were staring at us. We had brought with us food and blankets which we distributed among the members. They were ecstatic to have food from outside. We segregated ourselves and went to talk individually to everyone.
I went over to an elderly lady who was sitting at the corner of the room, staring at the glass window. I introduced myself and took a seat beside her. She greeted me with a smile and gave me a toffee that she had in her bag. She told me how her son left her at the old-age home as he was unable to attend to her because of his job.
He shifted to a foreign country and left her in the place which she never deserved. She became emotional while narrating the story and advised me never to do that with my parents in their old age. She said that parents need care in their old age as they had cared for their children all their life.
The visit to the old-age home was a fulfilling experience for me as I came back home with not only memories but also some valuable lessons. When I reached home, I ran straight to my mother and hugged her tight saying that I would never abandon her or my father when they grew old. She held me tight with teary eyes.
We bid farewell. The visit left a deep impact. A deep impact on our consciousness, and us. We were more sensitive than we were when we arrived, sensitive towards the elderly. The visit was an epiphany. Each of us was determined to stand by our parents and elders obdurately, through thick and thin. The residents at the old age home had motivated us all with their hankering hearts and unwavering hopes.