Now here is a story to show you how things have changed and what the young think of the old these days. After they married, 35-year-old Slobodan and his wife moved into the small house of his parents near the centre of Belgrad, the capital city of Yugoslavia. When the younger couple started having children they began taking over more of the limited space in the dwelling. By the time Slobodan’s wife had their third child, his mother was dead and his 74-year-old father, Zvonko, was becoming frail. Slobodan requested that his father give up his larger bedroom to him and his wife. As his children grew, Slobodan haphazardly built a tiny room onto the house and “encouraged ” the father to move into this new space, which he did. Eventually, although he was still able to take care of himself, Zvonko was asked by the son to move into a large, new residential complex for pensioners on the outskirts of the city. Two years passed and the father died. A month later, Slobodan receives a call from the director of the residence for the elderly, asking when he and his family are moving out of the house. Puzzled, Slobodan inquired why the director should ask such a crazy question. He was then informed that Zvonko had been so appreciative of how he was treated at the residence that he had deeded his house to the facility for its use. Story told to Jay Sokolovsky while studying residential homes for the elderly in Croatia and Serbia from 1983 to 1985
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