Ageing parents deserve affection and attention even amidst family feuds


I recently came across a distressing report in The Standard newspaper that deeply moved me. It recounted the tragic story of an 82-year-old retired teacher from Thika, who was found in an advanced state of decomposition within her own compound.

What was truly heartbreaking was the belief that she had passed away approximately nine months prior to this grim discovery. Alongside her remains were the lifeless bodies of the family’s dog and chickens.

This heart-wrenching incident has led me to ponder over the significance of family bonds and the responsibilities that come with them.

Families are akin to branches of a tree, each growing in different directions yet united by shared roots.

Nothing can rival the importance of family in one’s life. It baffles me to witness elderly parents struggling or engaging in menial work while their children lead ordinary lives. Though it isn’t necessarily obligatory for children to provide care, there’s an intrinsic sense of duty that should prevail.

I find it difficult to grasp how the woman in the news story had two sons, one living just a stone’s throw away, yet failed to receive help due to an ongoing family dispute.

As life progresses, merely sending money without maintaining a personal connection and genuinely understanding their needs becomes futile. Elderly parents yearn for the company of their children and grandchildren as they grow old. Having experienced the myriad of life’s ups and downs, they derive solace from witnessing the family legacy they’ve helped shape.

Even in strained relationships, seeking alternative caregiving solutions such as hiring a caretaker should be considered.

Let’s prioritise the well-being of our ageing parents and offer them the affection and attention they deserve, especially during their final days. 


Related Articles