Left to die in an old age home

Published: February 1, 2012
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In her article for The Express Tribune, reporter Rabia Ali wrote:

How an elderly Mehmooda Begum was left at an old home is heart breaking. Tired of eating porridge which was served to her every day, she decided to cook food for herself one day. The daal she made got her a black eye and a forceful admission to the old people’s center by her son.

As Mehmooda recalls her story, miles away from her family at the largest old home of the city, her lips quiver and her kohl-lined eyes fill up with tears. Her youngest son, and his wife, called her senile and would beat her up frequently on trivial matters.

“I made wallets and sold them to raise my seven children after my husband’s death. But once they were married, they all turned their backs on me,” said the 70-year-old woman, sitting on a marble slab in the ward for elderly women.

Parents and children have the purest relationship. It is the duty of children to look after their parents  when they are old and cannot care for themselves. Unfortunately, recent trends show that people would rather leave their parents in old age homes, an act which has devastating effects on the emotions of the abandoned parents.

This documentary reflects the feelings of people living in old age homes, most of whom are tricked into going there. Some children feel that their elderly parents are a financial burden; some abandon them when they are ill; but most are just too busy to care for them.

Is it fair to abandon aging parents because we are too caught up in our lives to spare some time for them? How can we forget that they cared for us when we were dependent infants?

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