Be sensitive and considerate towards the elderly

As you’re walking back home, you notice an elderly person always sitting at that same corner outside his/ her house, sometimes staring into nothingness. Have you ever given thought as to what goes on in the lives of such old people? How do they live? Who do they talk to? Sometimes, the only ray of sunshine in their lives is a rare phone call from a son or daughter settled far away.
Many youngsters, who live a carefree life, don’t realise that someday they too shall get old. They spend their days happily, never ready for the impending reality of life. They live by the words of English author Francis Bacon: “I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.”
To these youngsters, I say: Stop and see. Notice and empathise. Because one day you will be in those shoes. About a tenth of the population is above 60, and with an average life expectancy of 66 years, the elderly population is set to grow sizably.
Most of the old are either marginalised or ostracised at home. Beset with multiple problems like reduced physical strength, decreased immunity, and onset of sensory and motor disabilities, fading memory, they need care, love and emotional as well as physical support. They do not need special consideration but, equally, should not be humiliated.
Never forget that our children learn from us, of how kind and respectful we are towards old people. So today when you see an old person on the road, remember to be kind to that person — a smile would be make the day for both that person and you.

  • Hindustan Times (Delhi)
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