The older people are never a burden, but a blessing and a source of Barakah for the home and the family. Their experience and life stories can enlighten you in a way that no book or novel ever can.
If you see anyone around yourself- please be a source of pleasure and help for them. Listen to them; they are the people who have no careers, no success, and no vacations to look forward to. The major portion of their life is past them. It’s them and their sickness. Imagine how depressing! If they are in your homes, or you know them by any other source, it becomes your responsibility and duty to look after them; make them feel important, and let them take part in everything that matters.
The best thing you can give them is your time, and your patience to understand them- even if they can’t hear you properly, are not able to remember anything that you told them the other day, their behaviour changes with you frequently, or if they require extra time to carry out the daily life tasks. Realize that this phase comes with physical as well as emotional weakness. Before brushing off the thought aside, all of us should keep in mind that this age could come to us too; we are all aging, and if not now, but at one point in our lives, we might go through the same dilemma.
It’s when they leave you that you realize how much they have taught you, and how much effect their presence had- even if they were bedridden. When I lost my grandfather, I realized that there was no one who could replace him. After his death, I used to find folded pages of useful articles in magazines and newspapers that he kept for me to read, for which I never had the time when he was alive. He was the one who had all the time of the world to listen to my tantrums, laugh at my silly chatter, and share jokes with me. He would talk about his love for photography, his travelling experiences, and the things he learnt from them; never did he talk about his illnesses, or the pain he was in- but it was his love that made us all look after him.
Therefore, help them out- not because they need it- but because you can look after them, and do things for them; help them not because they are old and weak, but because you are young and active. Believe me these people can be your gateway to Jannah. You can take their prayers, and Duas, and conquer the world and hereafter.
The increasing number of old homes in our society is a clear indication that most of us have failed to consider them important, value their right to be respected, and no more recognize their part in our upbringing, well being and happiness. The tales of the people there are heart wrenching; how their kids never come, and meet them; how they told them that they are useless once they retired, and how they promised to come back to pick them, but never did. On the other hand, it tells us about how more and more people are willing to take care of the ones who have been abandoned.
These words sum up what you attain and lose- if you take care of your elder ones, especially when they are your parents. A Hadeeth says: May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced, whose parents, one or both , attain old age during his life time, and he does not enter Jannah (by rendering being dutiful to them) (Muslim)