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Looking After Ageing Parents Can Be A Rewarding Experience

As the world celebrates World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day, it is an opportune time to review how we treat our senior citizens. First it is important to remember and acknowledge
18 Jun 2016 12:19
Looking After Ageing Parents Can Be  A Rewarding Experience

As the world celebrates World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day, it is an opportune time to review how we treat our senior citizens.

First it is important to remember and acknowledge that without them we would not be where we are today.

In families where there are ageing parents now it would be a good time to see if their elderly are being appropriately treated with respect, dignity and love.

Many families will go through this experience because modern medicine is helping to prolong life. An increasing number of people are living longer now. That means the time will come when they will be dependent on others to live. This inevitably puts additional pressures on families, communities and Government.

Today adult sons and daughters in families are called upon to help care for their ageing parents. Many are professionals who lead busy lives including nurturing their own children. But it does not absolve them from looking after their elderly parents. In our Fijian cultures, taking care of our ageing parents and grandparents, is our moral responsibilities, no questions asked.

This practice has helped define not only our culture but who we are.

But it is under threat by the modern economic and social pressures. What do we do when we are faced with a dilemma: Should we stay home and look after them? Or should we continue paid employment and hire a carer to look after them? Or should we pay and put them in age care centres/homes?

In the old days our elderly died at home with families. They were never taken to aged care centres.

The current realities have forced families to consider options that best suit their family situations.

Whatever option they choose should be in the best interest of their ageing parents and grandparents. In their twilight years they need the best care that will give them a quality of life that make them happy.

To those who may need help and ideas to cope with their new challenges, Asia Pacific Forum on Families (APFAM) International has literature that will help families cope with these new pressures.

Sometimes all the elderly need is a listening ear and an appreciation of their opinions.

Some of the elderly love to be independent.  They need to be supported and encouraged because it helps them emotionally and psychologically.

Old age is not a sickness and sometimes it is wrongly perceived as such.

But we must accept that with it comes changes to the behaviour and conduct of a person.

But those who take care of their ageing parents will testify that it is more than just a chore. It is a rewarding experience.

NEMANI DELAIBATIKI

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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