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The Old are in a Second Childhood

Human life starts out as dependent and through aging ends-up as dependent. Everyone would love to spend time with children, enjoying themselves. But the same attitude is not there while handling the elderly. This is normal perception in handling same kind of people in two different ways. There is need to emphasize and understand the dependency and emotional needs of a person in both these life stages.

Similarities observed in a Child & Elderly

Child Elderly
Infants are more dependent They are dependent as they become like babies due to aging
Nannies and Parents take care of the Infant Children and Private Nurse take care of elderly
Infant requires support to stand or walk on its own Elderly require support to stand or walk on their own
Infant takes liquid/ semi-solid diet with assistance Elderly eat liquid food and soft diet with assistance
infant don’t speak rightly and its difficult to understand as they learn speaking Sometimes elderly speak irrelevant to the subject and mumbling makes it difficult to understand them
Infant hums a single word repeatedly Elderly speak more repeatedly a same matter
infants need care and guidance Sometimes they are forgetful and need guidance.
Infant is not allowed to lift or carry weights Elderly are unable to carry weights
Infant’s skin and bones are very sensitive and it is highly flexible and brittle Elderly skin and bones are also sensitive and highly brittle
Child rides in a stroller Elderly rides in a wheelchair when unable to walk
Infants are allowed to travel free of cost in bus/ train or get inside the movie houses for watching movies Elderly are given various concessions

 Difference between Child and Elderly

Child Elderly
Infants do not have knowledge and experience as it is just a beginning of new life Elderly are adults with knowledge and highly experienced
Child grows up and starts taking up responsibilities Elderly after disposing their duties, delegate the responsibilities to the younger generation
Child starts gaining knowledge and experience Elderly share their knowledge & experience to guide the younger generation
Child requires frequent food cycle The frequency and quantity of food taken lessens with aging
Child has smooth and shining skin Aging results in wrinkles and rough skins
Child is a growing human Elderly are sinking human
A child becomes old A old becomes as a child

Comparison of Child with Elderly on financial grounds 

Growing Child Old Aged After Retirement
More money is spent on infant medical care especially upto the age of 5 to 7 More money is spent for elderly medical care especially after 70 years of age
More time is spent outside the house mainly on entertainment and studies More time is spent inside the house mainly with television, newspapers and magazines
Eagerness to buy branded Items, frequent visit to Malls, Hotels, Food Joints etc. Preference given to conventional food and simple life style
Technologically more sound and advanced Technologically outdated and fear to handle new gadgets and prefer to stick with old ones
They have more spending habit than saving habit They have more saving habit than spending habit

 General Habits of Youth and Elderly

Habits of Youth Habits of Elderly
High level preferences towards continental food Restricted with traditional and nativity food
Likeness towards fried food items More of boiled foods are preferred
Loose temper quite easily Maintain patience
More focused on personal developments More focused on their children’s development
Hardly compromise on their need even in times of difficulties Compromise considering the difficulties
Their vision is ambitious They come to an end and their thoughts are narrow and confined
Live a stressful life full of responsibilities, to win economically After fulfilling their responsibilities, they like to live retired life peacefully

Handling of Child and Elderly by the Middle-aged Society

Child Elderly
Child is always considered to be the pillars of the society Elderly in some cases considered as burdens but personal attachments and emotions gains them social dignity
Child is considered to be a high return investment, thus there is no hesitation in investing on the young world Sometimes there is slight hesitation in spending for elders due to age factor
Child expects its parents to support in all ways Mostly elderly expect emotional support from their younger generation
Child is looked at with fear and care Elderly are looked at with pity
After getting employed children are expected to take responsibilities and become head of the family After retirement elderly delegate their responsibilities and take care of grand children giving them moral support

Many of the elders behave like child , for instance, they may pick up a cordless phone/mobile and put it in the freezer after use, sometimes they attempt to walk somewhere but forget where they are walking to. They put things in odd places. Lot of elderly become so aggressive and they get violent, and many more. Medically this type of behaviour is called as adult regression. Lot of elderly people experience this because it is in fact a stage of Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. People who have dementia may have drastic changes in personality. They might become irritable, suspicious or fearful, or display behaviour as a child would do. This will be a very rough journey for the younger generation who are looking after the elderly, but it needs to be understood and accepted that the elderly cannot help it.

An adult who resembles a child, needs to be cared and looked after like a child. Caring the elderly is our duty and that needs to be done with love and patience to understand their needs. They are depending on us as we depended on them when we were babies.

Do things for them and let them think they did it!!! Hence let us understand the reality of human life and support the elders in right spirit and without them there is nothing WE today.

Let us Celebrate

“World Elders Day” on 1st October

&

see our life founder’s smile

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