Staff Reporter

‘Have very little say in the day-to-day lives of their children or grandchildren’

NEW DELHI: Older persons living in nuclear families in Delhi and the National Capital Region have very little say in the day-to-day lives of their children or grandchildren, according to a recent survey conducted on the status of older persons in nuclear families in India.

The survey also brought out that older persons are finding it very hard to cope with the new socio-economic settings and a feeling of alienation with a sense of social marginalisation was fast becoming a major problem for most of the elderly. Their role in respective families has considerably narrowed and they find themselves marginalised.

Fast changing lifestyle

Conducted by Agewell Foundation, the other major finding of the survey was that of the total number of older persons contacted during the survey, 80.9 per cent were found living in nuclear families. Fast changing lifestyle was attributed as one of the major reasons behind this trend.

The methodology adopted for the survey included direct in-depth interviews conducted by administering semi-structured schedules to collect information, impression from older persons from across the country. For the survey a representative sample of 10,000 older persons with 5,000 each from rural and urban areas was interviewed spread across 20 States.

From Delhi-NCR 1,000 older persons were selected for representative sample for interviews.

On analysing the data obtained from older persons living in nuclear families, it was found that these elderly persons were facing different kinds of problems with the most common one being social issues followed by medical or health related issues. Under the social issues a majority of the elderly pointed to loneliness or alienation as their main problem.

When asked about the inter-personal problems being faced by older persons living in nuclear families in Delhi and NCR, a majority of the respondents agreed that they were not happy with their current living conditions. However, they were perceived as happy in the general society.

The survey concluded that timely action should be taken to increase the role of older persons in their respective families/societies while sensitising the people towards the traditional family system of the country and instilling core human values in them. Also, it said that the younger generation in every family set-up, government agencies and non-government organisations should play a vital role in this direction.