Mary Dzagnidze, 81, Kobuleti

„My advice to young people is: take care of each other and do not waste your time…When a person gets old, she stays alone. No matter how many children and grandchildren you have, you are alone. Everyone is busy doing their own thing and do not have time to pay attention to an elderly person. This is not because they do not care… they just do not have time. Some go to work in the morning others to school and a senior stays home alone. When family members come back in the evening, everyone has something to do so they hardly have any time to chat with an elderly person, ask her what bothers her, what are her concerns and wishes. If you say that you have some pain, they will answer that they are younger but have more health problems. So an elderly person is left alone confronted with her own problems and wishes. The same happens on the following day. They often phone her, visit her, bring her some presents, make her happy but this attention lasts for a second. Then she is left alone again with her wishes never uttered. Those old people who live in villages and have their children in cities are in an even worse condition. Children do not leave alone their mother in winter and bring her to the city but she would rather stay in her home with her village neighbors. She is locked like a bird in a multi-story building in the city and does not have anyone around to chat with during the day. But she does not say anything for fear of making her children nervous! So even if you have perfect living conditions oldness and loneliness are inseparable because the elderly lack the company of likeminded people. There should be special clubs for seniors, where they will meet and share their views, joy and memories. I am very happy that there is such club in Kobuleti which is called Living Old Age with Dignity, where we meet each other, go to trips or to the theatre together, read poems and learn about each other’s creative works. I think this club is one of a kind in Georgia; it is a pity because elderly people living in different villages would feel so happy if they had this opportunity. “