It is often said that old age is the advent of a second childhood. When your children are small, they are more demanding and taxing. Same with seniors. The only difference is that while with the child we have some semblance of patience, with the senior, the patience somewhere wears away.  I remember this story that has struck a deep chord with me.

“Once an old father asked his working son –“Son where is your mother?”. The son replied – “Father, she has gone to the market. Will be back anytime now.”. After about 10 minutes, the father again asked the son – “Where is your mother, son?”. Son replied – “Market”. After about 5 minutes, the father again asks the son “Where is mother?”. This really irritates the son and he snubs the father – “How many times have I told you she has gone to the market. Why don’t you just sit and read the newspaper or a book instead of asking me this question again and again?”. The admonished father walked away dejectedly. After a while, the son sees his son asking his father – Grandpa what is that black bird?”. Grandpa replies happily  – “Crow, my darling”. The grandson asked this question some 15 times and every time the granddad answered with the same softness. The son remembered a time when he had also asked this question to his dad when he was small and his father answering him patiently as many times as he asked. The son wept when he thought of his rudeness. He went and hugged his father and asked for forgiveness.
At least in the story, the son realized his mistake. But most of the time, we in the busy humdrum of our lives tend to forget all this and treat them like another piece of furniture. What can we do to keep them happy in the evening of their lives? Just make them comfortable by providing them with comfortable spaces. Here are a few things that you can do.
Bathrooms
  • Bright night lights – Have brighter lights at night. Mornings, someone is there, but at night, it makes them feel more comfortable and reassured.
  • Railings and Grab bars : Make arrangements to have railings and grab bars for elders to hold on to in case they slip
  • Non slip bath mats – Install them all over the bathroom. The biggest fear seniors have is of slipping and falling
  • Seating arrangement – for them to sit and take a bath. They deserve a leisurely bath too.
Other Living Spaces
  • Make all knobs and door handles easy to use. Forget style, go for comfort.
  • Stairs should have hand railing, which are easier to hold and rest on.
  • The house should at all time be well lit. Vision can be a big strain for seniors. Good lighting eases this discomfort too.
  • Ensure that the kitchen racks are not too high for them to take things from
  • The containers in which eatables are kept should be light and easy to open
  • Kitchen appliances should also be easy to operate. Hi-tech gadgets might not be a great idea for the elderly. Simple yet handy, that is how things should be!
Actually it is not so tough to make seniors feel comfortable at home. All they need is a little bit of love, loads of care and friendly homes – both literally and figuratively!
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