Wednesday, 8 July 2015

How Insecurity of Old Age Sets in?


It is a universal truth that people tend to grow older and their hair turns grey. When they reach the fag end of their lives, they feel as if they are left out by the generation that came after them. The immediate thing that comes to their mind is the posing of problem due to the fading health in their daily lives.  This awareness generates the sense of insecurity in their minds, forcing them to react illogically and spontaneously to different situations. With the small scolding from the near and dear ones, they get hurt and tend to go into a shell, making them non-responsive and insensitive to the situations of people around them. People who are not known to the elders consider this as a prick to their ego and react in kind.

Why Insecurity Feeling Comes?

When the elderly people were young, they used to do things on their own, without seeking help from others. They used to earn money and support their family like any other person in the society. This routine gave them satisfaction and authority on the matters pertaining to their family members and friends. The feeling of independence and self-reliance drove their life forward. Moreover, their main driving forces were their children for whom they invest whatever money they had earned in their professional lives. The moment they get into health problems they fear that the kind of autonomy and the respect they used to enjoy with friends and relatives may fade away, forcing them to live the way their siblings live. In younger days, they had the upper hand and they used to set the terms in the house. The children were forced to adjust to their ways. When the children become young adults, they began to think independently and took their own course of action, which at times were at variance with what their parents thought fit. This change of perception and the outlook forced the elders to register protest when their children did differently. At times, it would have had minimum impact in the family. At other times, it would precipitate into crisis in the family.  This growing difference in perception alienates the elders from younger ones. Slowly, they lose their prominence in the house, leading them to feel that they are not wanted in the family anymore. The elders also have become accustomed to their way of thinking, which is intransigent in nature. Hence, they cannot be made to change to a large extent.

Dealing with Elders

The elders should not be allowed to get the feeling that they are no longer required in the family. They should be given the breathing space so that they get the feeling of being part of the family. They should be allowed to take part in discussions and give suggestions banking on their immense experience. When they persist with something, they should be dealt with in such a manner that their egos are not hurt. In short, they should be handled diplomatically so that they remain unhurt.  They should be given the feeling that they are not alone in their twilight years. This would provide much needed moral and emotional support for them to sustain longer.