In continuation with my previous post I wish to add an observation made by me in the past couple of days. A family friend let me call him Mr. T, came over to our place saying that he wanted to consult my husband and me on an important matter. We knew that he had shortlisted a few houses to be taken on rent and guessed that he was unable to decide on the one that would be appropriate to house him and his ailing wife for the next year or so. His wife is on dialysis following kidney failure and the two of them were staying with their daughter in Chennai since her residence was at walking distance from a well equipped hospital. The couples are now in a dilemma. The daughter is expecting a foreign assignment and is likely to take it up. It would be selfish of them to expect her to let the offer go. But finding a house in Jamshedpur in a week’s time is also a difficult proposition. They have three other children but none of them is able to take charge. The older son is in America and is funding the treatment. The younger son is posted in rural Tamilnadu and has a touring job. Medical facility is not the best in the area he lives. The second daughter living in Mumbai is willing to take responsibility but her house if very far from the hospital and commuting in a metro would be hard on the ailing wife. And to top it Mr. T is the main care giver since he is the only one free to attend to her with both daughters working. He naturally feels that Jamshedpur being a known town this would be the best place for him to shift.
It is really no one’s fault as one can see. The children have been doing their best for the past two years. With time a certain amount of frustration tends to set in. The older daughter feels that she is taking on more than her share of responsibility. But apart from letting them stay at her place she does little else. No, there is no cause for complaint. the demand of her job is such that she has very little time to spare. Her mother walks to the hospital on her own for her dialysis and it is only when she returns after 4 hours that she feels weak and needs to hire an auto-rickshaw and it is Mr. T that escorts her to the hospital and back. Whenever Mr. T comes over to Jamshedpur the younger daughter takes over. But he is expected to return within 10 days because she has to return to work.
But to manage a patient all by himself would not be easy at the age of 68 I said. I mean there could be an emergency and as mentioned in my last post connectivity to our town is not the best. He is looking for accommodation close to the hospital that his wife would check into for her tri weekly dialysis. That part of the town is not the very best since the national highway is part of the route they need to take to reach hospital. Apart from being very far from our house it is accident prone and driving two /three wheelers in the area is risky. I remembered the time when these children were studying and Mr. T was forced to retire by the organization he worked for. His wife stood in support by his side and saw to it that their education did not suffer. I only regret that now that the financially difficult phase of their lives has been eased out health problems have crept in The relaxation that one looks forward to in the twilight of his/her life was perhaps not in their destiny. If this is the situation when children are caring and concerned I dread to think of a situation when finance is a problem and children bicker on who the care giver ought to be.