“I sent my parents to the old folks’ home”. What? Blasphemy! That unfilial, impudent child!
“My dad’s in adult daycare.” Tsk, tsk, tsk. How shameless.
“Our mom is in a nursing home.” Aiyo, cannot look after your own mother meh?
Sound familiar? Evoke any terminology relating to retirement homes and you might just get torn apart and trampled upon by holier than thou friends and family members. Ouch. But let’s face it. Retirement homes and adult daycares are still very much a taboo, especially in Asia. However, with the growing number of elderly dementia patients, increasing life expectancy and the emergence of better health care services for the aged, perhaps these assisted living centers are the next big thing.
Now before you freak out, keep calm and read on. We’ve pieced together a few pow wow facts that just might make you see retirement homes in a whole new light.
#1 IMPROVED SOCIAL BENEFITS
Going to adult daycares and retirement homes have social perks too. Who’s to know? Maybe your old man who’s been single for the past decade might meet a new beau (or two). Even if no romance blooms, maybe your aged parents can strike up new friendships with other seniors and adopt a few new hobbies. Mingling around will definitely keep them occupied and help stimulate their brain cells. We can’t have them sitting around at home staring off into space while they wait for us to come home, can we? That would be just sad.
#2 RISING NUMBER OF SINGLES
With the rising number of millennials and Gen-X’s preferring to live the single life, maybe investing in a retirement villa isn’t such a bad idea after all. Many old folks’ homes have gone through a facelift dedicated to the convenience of the elderly. So, if there won’t be anyone looking after us when we grow old, then the next right thing to do would be to check into these senior living villages and live comfortably on our own terms. Seriously, some of these places are posher than Posh Spice.
#3 BETTER MEDICAL CARE
Well, unless anyone of us is professionally and medically trained, our aging parents would be better off in the hands of medical practitioners who are readily available in retirement villas and adult daycares. Imagine Ma or Pa home alone while we are at work. Who can make sure they take their meds on time? Or what if they slip and fall? And no, you cannot keep relying on the maid. She may be attentive but she sure as heck can’t wield a stethoscope. Now we’re not saying you should dump your parents there forever, heck no! You can bring them home after work or during the weekends when you can give them all the attention that they need. Remember, quality time matters more than quantity.
#4 PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY LESS TAXING
Familiarity breeds contempt. Regardless of how much we love our parents, or how well our spouses get along with them, there will be days when we simply cannot stand one another. To avoid all the family drama (imagine all the k-drama scenes with the mother and daughter-in-law each wielding a wok and pan fighting one another or the poor father on a walking stick chasing after his grandson who keeps bouncing dangerously down the stairs…arghh…the migraine!), it might sometimes be best to send your parents off to the adult daycare centers or retirement homes.
Yes, sending the very people who brought us up through toils and snares to old folks’ homes might seem cruel to others. But what matters the most is how you and your parents feel. After all, how others think is their business. For more words of wisdom, check out WTF episode 14 and hear what Shamaine Othman and Dazrin Kamarudin have to say about sending our aging parents to retirement homes.