I Am Alone and I Am Here! Ageing in an Old Age Home in Kerala, India

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 09:15
Oral Presentation
Nisha NELSON, Loyola College of Social Sciences, India

The present study is an attempt to understand how older people live and carry on with their day today existence in an old age home .After years of living as an integral part of the family the old person now faces a painful separation. Added to this situation is the fear of what the institution will be like. Is it a place to live or a place to die? Does old age home become a site of recuperation into the society, or does it deny the individual, through its restrictions, the constant sense of being in the margins? These are the main research questions that will be addressed in this paper.

Data and Methods

The research was an ethnographic study conducted among the elderly women residing in an old age home in Kerala, India


The life experience of these aged women delineates a sense of ennui, a stasis of loneliness, maladies and death wish. In addition to the personal disenchantment of the residents, the politics of scrutiny, restriction and authority play upon the space of the old age homes, a site juxtaposing security and denial. One needs to ponder upon the contradictory sense of belongingness and that of being an outcast in the consciousness of the individual.


It can be concluded that old age home living is not a simple proposition and the perspectives and experiences of those living in the new ‘Home’ for elders are varied and much more complex.