Growing old

Jul 03 2015.

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Oh! Colombo 

Growing old is part of life’s circle. It happens to all of us. For those who grow to a ripe age, lucky are those who have family take care of them and provide them with all the comforts. Sadly, there are people who are of sound mind and health but due to unfortunate circumstances have absolutely no family to look after them. Though they are financially stable, due to age and sometimes illnesses they are unable run house anymore. Sweeping, dusting, cooking become impossible and the only option is moving into a home that provides a comfortable life at somewhat a steep monthly rent.

I have been to a few homes run for the elders that are maintained very well with good facilities, tasty meals and a matron in charge who sees to the comfort and cleanliness of its residents. These are the luckier folks who move into such homes. Sadly, it is not the same for all. Privately run homes that charge  phenomenal rates from the elders have so many issues. On entering the premises the wannabe residents are greeted with great warmth, the gardens and the entire front of house looks so nice that one feels they have found the perfect oasis to live in. They are then informed of the deposit that has to be paid to be accepted into the home. At some residences receipts are not issued for the deposit paid nor are they informed that the deposit is non-refundable. Once the applicant is registered and shown to the room the entire tune changes. The promises of the room being cleaned and toilets washed on a daily basis is a myth; the residents have to beg the maids employed to have them cleaned and at times a heavy tip has to be given to them, which one feels like giving once they let you know how low their wages are. At most times the food is putrid. An extra fee is charged for the laundry. If the resident is on a sharing basis the living conditions become unbearable. There is no point complaining as those running the establishment are unwilling to listen. Sadly, and in the evenings of one’s life, this is the situation for some elders who are residents in some of these horrible but highly priced private homes, unlike the more organized reputable homes that are supervised by a Committee or a  Board. One wonders where there is some sort of Authority that checks on elders’ homes.

It is quite shocking that there are people who make such a profitable business out of running private homes for the elders and not caring or looking after them. Growing old some have no choice but to move into such rip off places and the evening of their life is a sad and miserable one.


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