Elderly care refers to care of old people who are not physically fit like youngsters and need care in order to lead a cheerful life. People, in old ages, need extra care because body does not remain same as it used to be in young ages. This paper intends to discuss elderly care and further examines how elderly people are treated in different cultures.
Elderly people need more care and attention as they are unable to work and need help of others even for their daily works. Usually elderly people are not able to cook, walk and finish other works. They cannot do even their daily routine works like going to bathroom or wearing clothes in some cases. This is the duty of their family members to take care of their elderly people and also this is the duty of the society to take care of their elderly people in cases where elderly people have no one in their family.
Elderly people are treated differently in different cultures. Each culture has its values and traditions. There are some cultures where elderly people are considered valuable and respected while in some cultures, they are treated and considered like a burden. There are a number of cases that suggest how elderly people are continuously abused and deserted in their old ages when they need maximum care and support.
In Hispanic culture, elderly people are treated with respect and love. Elderly people get respect from other members of their family. Elderly people play and entertain small kids of the family and tell them stories. Elderly people educates Small kids about their culture and also tell them to respect their culture and be proud of the same. They are also treated like guide of the family. Members of their family take their opinion on special occasions and when significant decisions are taken (Hispanic Elderly).
Elderly people are not treated discriminately and they get everything that their family can afford. Cultural values of Hispanics inspire them to take care of their elderly people. Elderly people are given good care and people show their respect to them for guiding and protecting them when they were active and physically competent. Hispanic culture does not appreciate those who maltreat their elderly people. Such people are seen with hate and earn bad name for their acts.
Indians treat their elderly people with the utmost respect. It has been observed that elderly people are treated in most respected way in Indian culture. Elderly people are given due respect and they hold a significant position in the family as well as in the society. Joint family system prevails in India where people from generations live together and in this system elderly people hold very important place. They are given respect by their sons, grandsons and their duty is to guide their family (MacErlean, 2009).
Sons usually keep their elderly parents with them and give them every care that they need. Ancestors hold a very high position in Indian culture and are worshipped. Treatment of elderly people is inspired by religious values of Indians and they treat elderly people in the most respectful manner. No any decision that is important is taken without consulting elderly people of the family or the society. Their experience as well as guidance is regarded by members of the family and the society.
Elderly people are treated like the guardians of the family and not only the family members but society also gives highest respect. It has been observed in a number of cases wherein people of the society takes care of the elderly people if elderly people have no one in their family. There are a number of old sayings and rites that inspire Indians to respect their elderly people and give them respect and good care.
Elderly people are given care and protection like kids and their family members do not pay attention if they do commit any mistakes but are taken care as if they are kids. Their requirements are fulfilled on priority basis and people consider themselves fortunate if they have elderly people in their family. Elderly people are visited by their relatives in holidays and their relatives consider themselves fortunate to have their blessings.
American culture respects their elderly people and they are given good care. Usually there are nuclear families in American culture and both husband as well wife are working. Elderly people are left in elderly care homes or they spend their time at their own. Usually elderly people do not get care from their family as everybody is working and has his or her own engagements. Nobody has time for elderly people and everyone his own priorities. Elderly care homes in America are though in good conditions where elderly people are provided very good care.
The treatment of elderly people in American culture is different from Hispanic or Indian cultures mainly because of the difference in their cultural values. Fast lifestyle of American people cannot give their elderly people equal treatment that they get in traditional societies. People can shell money but they have no time for anybody even for themselves. American or other similar cultures have a different perspective towards the treatment of their elderly people. Usually American elderly people are left at their own destiny and they spend their old age in loneliness. American culture and other similar societies are youth oriented. People have no time for elderly people. They are indulged in their own affairs in a way that they do not care about others.
‘Bless me Ultima’ is a famous semi autobiography, written by Rudolfo Anaya (Anaya, 2012). The book gives thorough information about Hispanic culture and informs readers how elderly people are treated in Hispanic culture. Author shares that old people are treated with respect in Hispanic culture and this is not only in their interest but their experiences and knowledge helps younger members of family in a substantial manner. Author suggests that the old lady, who came into his house to live, was very experienced and she taught him a lot of things that helped him at several fronts of life and because of her teachings only, he could achieve something in his life (Anaya, 2012).
Mistreatment of elderly people’ is a famous book, authored by Peter Decalmer and Frank Glendenning (Decalmer and Glendenning, 1997). The book describes how elderly people are treated in American society in a very realistic manner. Authors suggest that American elderly people are living a sporadic life and they are frequently mistreated. Authors describe how they are neglected by their family members and the society. Authors suggest that though elderly people in India, Hong Kong, Japan are treated in a better way but gradually changes are coming in these cultures and some incidents of abusing elderly people are also reported in these societies (Decalmer and Glendenning, 1997).
‘Housing Older People: An International Perspective’ is an informative book written by Satya Brink (Brink, 1998). The book delves deep into the issue of elderly care in Indian society and examines the reasons and situation about the care and treatment of elderly people in Indian culture. The book appears to be a well written and well researched piece that corroborates its version with data (Brink, 1998).
After having observed succinct view of the abovementioned subject and a discussion, it can be concluded that elderly people deserve a better care and respectful life. This is right of elderly people and doing so is the duty of their family members as well as the society. Elderly people should not be considered as a burden and never be treated in ill manner. Elderly people should be treated like guardians and youngsters can learn a lot from their experiences and knowledge.
Elderly people get a better treatment in less developed countries. They are treated with respect and given a good care while in developed countries like America, elderly people do not get the respect and care that they deserve. American and other similar cultures are youth centric and people do not give much time to their elders. People and Society should understand that everybody has to face old age and situation cannot be improved by making laws only but sense of respect towards our elderly people is required.
Anaya, R. (2012). Bless Me, Ultima. New York City: Grand Central Publishing.
Brink, S. (1998). Housing Older People: An International Perspective. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.
Hispanic Elderly. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2, 2013, from cas.umkc.edu: http://cas.umkc.edu/casww/hispanic.htm
MacErlean, N. (2009, May 31 ). The Guardian. Retrieved December 2, 2013, from www.theguardian.com: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2009/may/31/elderly-care-affordable-india
P. Decalmer and F. Glendenning. (1997). The Mistreatment of Elderly People. California: SAGE.