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Thupten is a 60 year old woman who is widowed and has no children. In her younger days she helped support herself by working as a farmer. Because of health issues, she has not worked for several years now, and she is so grateful to be living at the Home for elders in The Doeguling Settlement.

Thupten is a quiet, kind-hearted woman who receives psychiatric care and takes medication regularly to help her function. She spends much of her time walking around the Home or sitting in her room. She also enjoys watching television in a common room with the other Grans. Although she does not talk much, she is always ready with a beautiful smile for the other Grans and for the attendants who are constantly near at hand. At the Home, the staff take great care to make sure that the elders feel loved and part of a family. A Buddhist, Thupten is encouraged to participate in community prayers, which are such an important part of the daily routine. Although she does not participate daily, she joins in occasionally, as she is able.

Elderly Tibetans often lead lives characterized by uncertainty, partly due to their status as refugees. In a culture where aging parents are traditionally cared for by their children, the uncertainty is particularly acute for elders with no children or whose children have migrated to western nations. As a last resort, many elderly Tibetans in exile live out the third phase of their lives in old age homes without family around them.

OUR PARTNER CARING ORGANIZATION – The Doeguling Tibetan Settlement, Mundgod, India