Although we do have a couple of senior citizen homes here in the UAE – one in Sharjah and one in Ajman for instance – they are more like assistance living centres.
That is, mostly for elderly people from poor families that can’t afford to have care in their own homes. Our families here take a lot of pride in our elderly. The Lord says in the Holy Book “worship and honour your parents and treat them well, they are our bridge to heaven”.
No one will enter paradise if they mistreat their parents or hurt them in any way, the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said. It is an extremely important place in our culture in which the elderly are held. They are well respected, listened to and waited on hand and foot. They have done their dues. It’s now our turn to treat them well as they age gracefully.
We also do not look favourably on those whom neglect their elderly in our society. We don’t marry from their family and we don’t associate with them like we normally would others. We consider it to be the height of bad manners and lack of ethics and morals to do such a thing. The elderly should be honoured and dealt with in the most respectful of ways.
Their wisdom is invaluable and should be learned from. It is a wisdom that can be passed down. No one is more entrusted after my wife and I than my mum with our kids – no one. So in return we teach them to adore her and wait on her hand and foot.
To please Allah you must please your parents and the young must respect the old. It is the foundation of a morally sound society.