Question: Describe a problem you've solved or a question you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma— anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
I grew up in a joint family with my grandparents and till the age of 5, I was looked after by them, when my parents went to work. I was always deeply attached to my grandparents. When I was 10 my grandfather died and my grandmother became lonely. Both of them shared a great bond with me as they took care of me while my parents were out for work every day. They spent most of their time playing with me and managing my schedules till I finished primary school.
When I was 16 my grandmother became really sick and dependent on us even for carrying out her daily activities. We all got busy with our lives at that time and it was impossible for any family member to stay beside her. Considering all the chaos caused to her and us, many extended family members, neighbors, and friends persuaded my parents to look for an old age home, where she will be looked after perfectly and receive the care and assistance she needs.
I was terribly disturbed after knowing this and I promised her that I would not let it happen. People suggested several assisted-living facilities with great amenities for the old. However, I and my family could never make our minds to send her to an unfamiliar place in such a fragile condition. It’s true that young family members are occupied with their jobs, daily routines, and socializing, but sending the dependent people to old-age homes might make their condition worse. After discussions with close relatives, we made the decision to keep her with us in the same house.
I proposed an idea to hire a nurse who would take care of her in the day when we are not home. We managed to find an efficient nurse to stay with her during the daytime. Also, we all adjusted our schedules accordingly, and every member took turns in the night to keep a check on her. My grandmother spent her last months happily in her house, with her family by her side.
I am of the opinion that younger generations shall treasure their grandparents and try their best to look after them. We should avoid sending them to unknown places unless it is the only option to be considered. We all become old one day and no person wants to spend his last days, alone, away from home. I cherish all the memories with my grandparents and I am happy that I could be with them till their last moments. This is an ethically challenging question for many families around the world. The dilemma of whether to send your grandparents to nursing homes or not when you don’t have the time to look after them is faced by many people and I am content that our family’s decision worked for all of us.
Author - Eesha Acharya
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