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Old people living alone in Athens

It's becoming a widespread issue, in Athens. Old people, living alone in their apartments, their beloved next of kins having either left the family nest, or passed away.

They live together with their memories of years gone by, of happier times, of the whole family being together and doing things.

They probably tend to forget minor details or current events of their day to day life. That's understandable, due to old age, but younger people tend to get annoyed when elders ask the same questions over and over again.

There is a deep sorrow within their soul, of not having anyone to spend some time with or exchange a few words. Loneliness is what they resent the most. Some of them still live in their own houses, ever walking from one room to the other only to discover that "there's nobody there".

Every now and then, their children (who are, now, grown-ups and live their own lives) may visit them, probably once or twice a week. They may stay for 2-3 hours, and leave. That's the "window of opportunity" that they have, while trying to manage a hectic and pressing lifestyle that has been exacerbated by the prolonged financial challenges that Greece is being faced with.

Old people were not always old. They used to be young, full of dreams and anticipation of what life would lay ahead for them. Most of them still have a sparkling spirit inside them, still want to fight for what they believe is right, still want to be "part of the story".

A lot of them are helping their children of grand-children money-wise by sharing their pensions with them, especially if they are out of work or facing financial difficulties because of the Crisis.

They only ask for our thoughtful presence, or our small acts of affection. They may also need help and encouragement with taking their medication in a timely and proper manner, since they tend to neglect their well-being. They usually offer valuable advice, since years of consolidated life experience is a valuable asset.

We should never forget them, or forget to visit them as often as we can, or show them that we care for their day to day needs.

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