Our Past

First of all, a Happy New Year to all!

My family has a lot of future health care professionals in it. I have three cousins who are nurses, a cousin who will be a pharmacist, and two future doctors. At this state, we can make a small clinic for all we want. An idea came to my father that we could establish a nursing home here for senior citizens. The thought made me think, is this possible?

Nursing homes are a lucrative business. For one, everyone is mortal, so there will never be a lack of customers for these kinds of businesses. Sure, the fixed costs of establishing the structure of the nursing home will be high, but it will pay off in the long term, given that customers pay on average five digits worth of Filipino pesos each.

Given our family of health professionals, and numerous methods for starting capital, I think it is possible to set up a nursing home in the future. However, another question comes to mind if this is feasible.

Filipinos are a family-oriented people; our families are tightly-knit in that we bear the admirable quality of upholding the adage “family first”. In all places that I’ve been here in the Philippines, I’ve always seen senior citizens living and growing with their families. That is why the thought of seemingly abandoning a family member to an institution seems alien, nay, taboo, to our liking. For families like ours, every member is a part of the body, and to leave a family member behind is akin to cutting off that part of the body.

Based on the current culture today, I do think that establishing nursing homes here is feasible. Truthfully, I do not want it to be so.

I do not want to be alone as I grow grey hairs. I do not want to eat cold soup alone. I do not want to sit on a bench all day feeding pigeons. I do not want to wither away, an old man, without a legacy. I want to teach my grandchildren how to do a roundhouse kick, if my body permits. I want to go fishing with my son. I want to go places with my wife and my family. I want to embrace my nephews and nieces and tell stories of how we were as kids. We, who learned to appreciate our past.

Will it be feasible in the future? I cannot say. Truthfully, I do not want it to be so.

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1 Comment

  1. I think people don’t give due credit to nursing homes. Sure, old people need to be cared for. Sure, family should care for each other. But this is an ideal situation, where a family can actually afford to care for their elderly for years and years.

    The Philippines isn’t exactly what you’d call ideal.

    There are elderly people who are abandoned on the streets like some stray cat, because the family just don’t want to care for them anymore. There are families who can’t buy food for everyday, let alone spend for the needs an elderly – many of which are not exactly cheap. I think people should get out of the “abandoning our elderly” mind set, and get into the “this is what’s best for them” mind set. Just because you place someone in a home for the elderly doesn’t mean you’re abandoning them. Nursing homes still cost money. You still provide for that member of the family and you can still visit. Really, there are worse things. Nursing homes aren’t any sort of evil. In fact, the elderly may thrive in nursing homes where they are among their peers.

    Also, just because you’re in a nursing home doesn’t mean you’re a man without a legacy. Legacies are built over lifetimes. A man in a nursing home is someone who’s already made his legacy and lived out his years; he’s at the end of the journey. It’s not time to accomplish the big things. It’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor while sitting on a bench, in peace and quiet, and feeding the pigeons.

    For the record, I won’t put my parents in a nursing home (unless they specifically request it), but I can afford the cost. It’s not going to be at the expense of a child’s health, or a child’s education, or someone else’s life.

    And also, for the record, I think the Philippines needs nursing homes. The elderly are better off in nursing homes than wandering the streets unprotected from the elements and misguided souls.

    Nobela ito. Chos! 🙂


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