is Elders’ Week
Spreading sunshine in sunset years
By Rev. Canon Padmasiri Bhareti
Do you look forward to old age? Or do you dread it as a time of
illness, poverty, sexual indifference, mental incompetence or waiting
for death? Most of our old people are relatively healthy and happy.
Still a large number would enjoy old age more if not for the misconceptions
they hold, where they attribute ailments to old age instead of doing
something about it.
main drawbacks of old age are ignorance, having to take many medications
but don't old people also require love and affection?
must be made to understand that many complaints are not due to old
age alone. Alzheimer's or dementia have much to do with memory loss
or disorientation. Elders’ homes must be centres of love and
care and not boarding houses.
wife and I spent two weeks with a community of old people in the
UK.visiting many dementia hospitals or centres and we saw how love
and care were given to those in the eventide of their lives.
staff in these centres were dedicated. Sri Lanka too, needs such
places where the aged are given love. In Sri Lankan society old
age is looked down upon as one's fate or karma. Many parents are
left to look after themselves.
Sri Sevana’, a home for destitute elders was opened by me
11 years ago at Welisara and we have with us happy and contented
elders who are taught to care for one another and live together.