Why is Old Age Homes Becoming a Necessity in India Now?

By Prateek Srivastava 9 Minutes Read

We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.[1]-Henry Ward Beecher

Parents are the most important people in our whole life. They are the only reason due to which we exist in this universe. They are our first teachers as we spend our most childhood time with them learning all the activities be it from routine work to manners and etiquettes or any other special talent. In India, parents are treated next to God. They keep their young ones protected from every kind of unauthorized and unlawful act and nourish them so that they can lead a successful life in future. However, the parents do not receive adequate attention from their children. The reason for this expression stands as the increase in old age homes in our country. First of all, let us know what is an old age home?

An old age home refers to a place where the old people are kept and taken care of[2] which includes facilities like meals, gatherings, recreational activities and also providing medical assistance. It is different from a nursing home and also from retirement homes. According to the Directory of Old Age Homes in India, HelpAge India, 1998 there are 728 old age homes in India till the present day. Out of these 325 are free and 95 offer pay and stay services. 116 homes offer free stay and paid stay facilities and 11 are such of which no information is available. 278 homes are available for sick people and 101 are exclusively for women. Kerala has the maximum number of old age homes standing at a number of 124.[3] Old age homes despite offering many facilities are still not as home but still there emergence in India is at a greater rate.

Reasons for such increase are as follows:[4]

  1. The basic reason for an old person going to an old age home is due to the reason that their children or grandchildren move to metropolitan cities or abroad as well for pursuing higher studies and they are also capable enough to adapt themselves for new lifestyle but unlikely, the old people may find it harder to adapt such lifestyle and choose to remain back to their original place due to sentimental feelings.
  2. Another reason also stands that the elderly people are sometimes prone to chronic health issues which are not taken care of by their children and as a reason for that they are also not allowed to live at their homes and sent to such homes.
  3. The mindset and values differences are also one of the reasons for emergence of such old age homes because many elderly people find it difficult to remain with their only daughter at her in laws place or due to their ego clashes with their grandchildren or other people and staying in old age homes make them connect with their age groups and have a like minded community.
  4. The most important reason for such an increase is that the old people only strive for peace during these days and some also leave their homes so that they can get peace in these homes by not having conflicting situations arising at any time.
  5. Due to an increase in the crime rate in India, most elderly people find it easy and secure to live in old age homes when their children are not living with them or if they are working abroad. The stay in these homes provides them security by surveillance through CCTV cameras or anything.[5]


There are many benefits living in old age homes like companionship of their age groups, safety, security and medical assistance but there are many cons available as well[6] :

  1. Some old age homes charge money for rendering services. Most old aged people are pensioners and are not having so much money which is a challenging problem because the better the payment the better the services.
  2. Limited choices are available for food as it is based for the whole community and also in living space and it also lacks privacy.
  3. The foremost hardship is the impersonal relationship as some people miss their family, grand children and relatives and often feel depressed.

Considering all the facts it can be said that home is only the best place to live and nothing can even match the comfort level of living in our own home with our family. Old age homes are often spoken of as a shameful consequence of uncaring and callous children[7] because family is the only support a person can get and if he has the support of his family; it is always possible for him to win each and every kind of battle.

According to Chennai-based Kunjamma Thomas who is the trustee of Marias old age home that which provides services to over 60 elderly people that an elderly parent who comes to an old age home feeling reluctant to live. Once the Star Cricketer of Indian Cricket Team, Virat Kohli also requested people to not to send their parents to old age homes instead send them to his foundation so that he may take care of them.[8] He owns a Foundation named Virat Kohli Foundation where he makes efforts to take care of old people, children and many more activities. This is a very good step taken up by him and many more celebrities but don’t you think that in some or the other way they are taunting us that we cannot keep care of our parents when they need it most. Imagine, if in our early childhood age, our parents had refused to commit to their responsibilities, what would have been our future today. Parents are the basic necessity of our life. When we come to understand this point it becomes too late for us. Therefore people should never do such a shameful act of sending their parents to old age homes and also stop if you see or hear someone doing such an act. It is always possible for everyone to keep their parents with them and why do we need some other person to keep them if we are capable enough.

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