Old age is an integral part of human life. It is the evening of life. It is an unavoidable life, unwelcome and problem, ridden phase of life. Every one wish to live a long life, but not to become old it is ironical that however undesirable is the old age, it is bound to come in life. A man is compelled to go through the pain and pleasures of this age like the other phases of life before making an exit from this mortal world.
An old man is full of experiences and even the experiences and even though experiences are of immense help to the younger generation, he is upon an unwanted burden. He himself is caught in a terrible feeling of redundancy. Thinking of old age visions of loneliness and neglect emerge in the mind. The picture becomes all the more awesome with failing health and illness. A sense of despair glooms over all his pleasant feelings. Though it is true that no stage of life has its ever smooth sailing and every stage has its attendant problems, those of old age are more difficult and insurmountable because the physical strength and mental capability required to cope up with the adverse situations of life are immensely reduced. The situation becomes all the more difficult when one finds himself/ herself left alone without anyone to attend him.
Indeed loneliness and neglect associated with old age is a rather a recent phenomenon. It is the outcome of break up of the tradition of joint family system. Growing urbanization and fast moving modern life have contributed to the problem. Furthermore, the erosion of moral values has also aggravated the situation. Earlier, when life was simpler and values counted for more, those who reached a ripe old age held an enviable place in society where they could really release and enjoy the twilight years of life. They commanded great respect, regard, love and attention and were taken as source of inspiration, guidance and experience for the younger generation. These words of Elbert Hubbard are true to the situation, “where parents do too much for their children, the children will do not much for themselves.”
Every phase of life has its own problems which require which require prudence, wisdom courage and strength to attend to. In childhood and youth one has parents and other close elderly kith and kin to help, cooperate and guide. Besides, he himself has a lot of energy, strength, stamina and courage. But the situation takes a reverse turn in the old age. For his every work he needs someone to help. He becomes dependent on others largely due to his physical infirmity. He is, in fact, filled with a feeling of emotional insecurity.” He wants someone to take care of his needs helps from someone. But in this materialistic society, everybody is short of time. The problem gets accentuated especially as the world ceases to have any resemblance to what the elderly were accustomed to and changes at a bewildering pace with every passing moment.