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Undip Sociologist: The Dilemma of Leaving Parents in a Nursing Home

There is a lot of news in the media about parents who were left their children in nursing home, reaping the pros and cons since it is still a bad stigma in Indonesia. Some argue, whatever the reason, parents must be cared for by their own children. Since culturally and religiously it still seems strange if there are children, no matter how busy they are, leaving their parents in a nursing home. However not everyone thinks so, there are also those who think that living in a nursing home is not a bad choice. Currently, many nursing homes offer warmth and comfort for the elderly.

Prof. Dr. Dra. Ari Pradhanawati, M.S., Sociologist and Professor of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Diponegoro University, stated that from a sociological perspective on the phenomenon in Indonesia, when it seems culturally inappropriate to leave parents in a nursing home. However everyone’s views are different in addressing this issue.

“Culture in Indonesia, children take care of their parents or parents live together with their children, but in this millennial era now the culture is changing proving that the development of the era follows our daily activities. Caring for the elderly must be agreed by both parties, husband and wife or the husband’s mother or the wife’s mother must agree. If there is party who don’t agree, there will be problems, while our culture of caring for the elderly is a must and there are also positive sides if the children want to take care of the elderly in a nursing home,” said Prof. Ari.

“In our minds, when we hear the word ‘nursing home’, it seems as if we think our parents are being dumped when in fact they are not, because when we hear about nursing home sometimes it makes our minds feel stressed. It means how we make terms that make us comfortable, for example a pension house where there are complete facilities. So that our connotations of nursing home for the elderly are changed into terms that touch the heart and the notion of going to a nursing home does not mean being thrown out and parents must be given understanding,” she continued.

Dr. Unika Prihatsanti, M.A., Psychologist, Lecturer of the Faculty of Psychology Undip said that in the past, parents took care of their children, so sometimes parents had hopes that these children were investments in the future. This means that if they are getting old they will be taken care of by their children, however the current generation has changed and it is very different from the previous generation so the situation needs to be understood together.

“We no longer use the term elderly but use the term adiyuswaadi means good, yuswa is age, so when combined it means wise age. It has a more positive connotation which describes psychologically that human life cycle is like a normal curve, from being unable to move or a baby then entering peaking state and then going down. Adiyuswa is experiencing what is called a stage of life that is starting to decline, there is also a thing called quality of life, when individual can achieve at least three things, namely physical, psychological, and interpersonal well-beings. This means that someone is physically, cognitively, socially or emotionally fulfilled. Families have a very big role in Adiyuswa and everything related to our circle,” she said.

In old age, there is a phase where they see the past as their successes but not all people in this stage of physical or psychological development can be compared or equal in all cases. Indeed, most will experience a phase of loneliness, the level of loneliness also varies where the elderly experience loneliness, such as loose parenting, lack of friends, limited activities and the absence of a partner. Different types of loneliness arise from unmet emotional needs.

“We can’t blame if the children can’t accompany their parents in their old age because their children are working. Meanwhile there are people who are open-minded, for example, parents feel happy to be at the nursing home because they have lots of friends. The empowerment of nursing home in several countries has been activated and the policy is good for involving parents in the world of work and is now common. The health condition of the elderly is under control and if they are healthy, they can work in order to overcome the feeling of loneliness. This is a good policy so that the psychological impact such as stress of the elderly can be reduced,” explained Dr. Unika. (Lin – Public Relations)

Photo&Source: Live IG @unik_oke

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