Friday, August 27, 2010

Caregiving: Taking Care of Elders

Thanks to the rapid advances in the field of medicine, more and more people live to a ripe old age, it is increasingly likely that you will be taking care of older relatives at home. While this has always been a traditional practice in the joint Indian family, caregiving can prove to be quite a burden in the modern Indian city. Caregiving refers to a wide range of involvement - everything, from checking in on your relatives every day at their places of residence to providing round-the-clock care for your parents in your own home.
Entering into a caregiving relationship offers a valuable chance to reconnect with someone for whom you care deeply. But as this person ages and becomes more infirm and demanding with each passing day the relationship can become increasingly stressful and, at times, acrimonious. Also, ambivalent or unhappy feelings from the past can re-emerge and cause pain and bitterness, unless you work through them positively. If you're trying to shoulder the burden all alone, the frustrations may overwhelm you. An amicable situation can turn sour and, in some cases, mistreatment or abuse of the older person could be the tragic result. As testimony to this disquieting but indisputable reality, the media is reporting more and more cases of abuse and neglect of the elderly in India. Many parents have even been forced to commit suicide when they have got fed up of the ill-treatment they have received.

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