Seniors celebrate their long innings with music, dance

BANGALORE: A hint of rouge on her wrinkled cheeks, a flower in her hair and eyelids daubed with shadow: Theresa, 75, donned a new look on Wednesday. The senior citizen was dressed in a light orange silk saree, which she had brought out of the closet after Christmas.

Theresa was among the many senior citizens who took part in the World Elders’ Day celebration. Over 100 participants from four old-age homes in the city were brought under one roof and treated to delicious food. There was more — songs, dance, games and gifts.

Allen Wash, 101, an Anglo-Indian ex-defence officer, was the oldest of the lot. “To live for 100 years is no extraordinary feat. Over 40 years ago, it was difficult because of the tough living conditions in India. But things have changed today,” he said.

A gritty Renu Neotia, who’s battling cancer, said: “I lost my hair after chemotherapy but I’m a fighter. I try to be cheerful all the time. If I cry, no one will cry with me.” She lives with her daughter, and art, craft and making chocolates keep her occupied.

In keeping with her name, 80-year-old Violet Jackson was dressed in violet. The retired schoolteacher enthralled the audience with songs like ‘You never feel short of life’, ‘You are my sunshine’.

Paddy Polson, 88, was one of the first women drivers in Mumbai in 1930. “I used to get compliments from taxi drivers. I used to drive in Bangalore too until a couple of years. Senior citizens usually have a tough time on the road,” Paddy rued.

“After retirement, a person has to decide about the next phase of his life. Many elders suffer from depression and end up in old-age homes. The oldest inmate we have is a 102-year-old man who once jumped from his bed. When I asked him why, he said he wanted to die. We’ve seen extreme cases of relatives not visiting the centre even after the inmate’s death,” said Shaji Philip, executive director of Advantage Elder Care, an old-age home.

Dedicated to dad

Karen Pinto, an entrepreneur, lost her father in November 2013. He lived in an old-age home as he required constant care. His diabetic foot needed dressing every day. After his death, Karen and her sister Samanta Pasha Pinto began conducting activities in old-age homes to infuse some fun into the lives of senior citizens. The event was organized by the sisters as part of World Elders’ Day.

 

Article Courtesy: TNN | Oct 2, 2014

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