Food for Thought, Thought for Action!

Senior Citizens: Cambodia & Australia


by an Australian Cambodian

My previous article ” What retired people pass their times” [prior to my silly mistake wiping out the entire web-site], drawn an interesting comment from Chanroeun and quote below:-

“Senior Citizens in Cambodia almost become servants to their children’s family. Some are still bosses in the house”

Before going into the above quote, I would like to draw the attention to the different in cultures and ways of life which may help us to understand more and gain the in-depth fact underline the meaning of direct and indirect contributions to the society by our Senior Citizens in both Australia and Cambodia.

Senior Citizens: Australia

The legal retired age here is 65 and 62 years old for men and women respectively, if I am not mistaken; [except for people served in the arm-force or police can retire earlier, or if one has accumulated enough wealth through their hard working life]; however, there is a government incentive scheme which encouraged people to work pas their retired age if they wish because population of Australia is now living a longer life [For your information, an oldest person under my care passed away 1 day after celebrating 108th birthday]; in fact Australia is now a nation of aging population.

In this context, Senior Citizens referred to people whose age is over 70 years old or older, however, I would address them as Senior Citizens once they turned 65 or 62 years old though it is inappropriate and some would feel so offended.

I would not say all Senior Citizens would go out and contribute their times directly or indirectly to the society but there’s a handful of them who is still capable to do some good deeds for a good causes for other by became a volunteer with certain organization or group as a way to keep themselves occupied and/or remain active and/or socializing Etc…

Most Senior Citizens here would either live independently in their own home [as to living alone without any children by their side] and/or in an aged care facility and/or retirement village subject to health well-being and/or personal choice.

Aged care facility divided into 3 sections: 1] Independent living unit – for Senior Citizens who can still do all the things related to daily life by themselves on day-to-day basis. 2] Hostel: for Senior Citizens who still can do all the things for themselves but opted to receiving the services provided by the centre – a low cares category. 3]  Nursing Home: for Senior Citizen who can do certain thing for themselves but majority of them are no longer can do things for themselves- a high cares category.

Whereas retire village is more or less a community based facility but also provided services to people who lived there should be needed.

Our volunteer Senior Citizens often find a little extra times in lending a hand, whatsoever they thought they can do for a good cause, subject to their abilities or experiences by working in hospital as a guide, a bus driver for the day, a horticulturist, a personal helper, selling raffle tickets to raise fund for social club or research organization or other organizations just to name a few.

Senior Citizens: Cambodia

Chanroeun has pinpointed that ”Senior Citizens in Cambodia almost become servants to their children’s family. Some are still boss in the family”, in his own word and right, quote the familiar story of every Senior Citizens are undertaking every day nation-wide.

Once again, this our cultures and it may be the case of cultures in Asian countries: “Family Close Knit or Family Affairs” , where there’s at least 2 if not 3 generation who are living under the same roof.

The truth is there is not such a thing existed that our Senior Citizens are living independently and alone in their own home unless that particular person doesn’t have any child/children or next of kin.

Whereas our parents felt, this is not so much of the obligation but it is rather a personal choice, that they want to help us and the family as whole to do what they can do best so their children would feel warm and secure that their own child/children and/or house are being looked after while they are at work or out and about doing business and this is still so practice in Australia by Senior Citizens from Asia nations.

Servants of their children’s family

Whereas children would see their parents as an asset to them who they can put all the trusts in their hands that their own child/children and house would be looked after and taken care whiles they are out. We as the children are quite often taking for granted, exploiting and ripping opportunity, taking advantges from our parents as well putting a blame on them should the family became disfunction without realizing that we are the main core of the problems.

Bosses in the family

I have seen the kind of “Bosses in the family’ in the past. I have pretty good idea and can imagine how one could live in such an extreme circumstance. Fortunately, my beloved mother was not such a person -comprehensively understand that being a mother and with all due respects from all her children and once they are grown up and became a responsible person as many mother would expect their children to be; she shall not be overprotective or control-freak but would always be there for her children should they needed assistant, moral supports and advices.

7 thoughts on “Senior Citizens: Cambodia & Australia

  1. Hi Chanroeun;
    Thank you for posting my article here. Well, you have to let me know if the article is in line with your thought.

    By the way, I have down load Khmer fonts and upload to my site but I still cannot use it.

    Thanks again

  2. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Senior citizens in Cambodia

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