The hands that rocked the cradle now lie forgotten and abused


The Agewell Foundation surveyed 8,000 elderly people in Delhi and NCR

All is not well with the elderly in Delhi and its adjoining satellite townships.

At an age when they are dependent both financially and physically on their children, daughters-in-law and grandchildren, many senior citizens face physical abuse, misbehaviour and ill-treatment. This has been revealed by a survey conducted by the Agewell Foundation.

Of the 8,000 people surveyed in Delhi and the National Capital Region, 3,000 were from rural areas and 5,000 from urban.

It was conducted at a national level for the fifth session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing, due to be held at the United Nation’s headquarters in New York on July 31 and August 1.

The idea behind the exercise is to strengthen the protection of human rights of the elderly, said Himanshu Rath of the Agewell Foundation.

Mr. Rath added that as per the 2011 Census, the population of 60-year-old and above residents in India stood at 98.3 million.

He said the survey found that every fifth elderly person — 20.8 per cent — was affected due to restrictions on their social life by family members or others. Restricted social life was ranked as the most common form of elder abuse by over seven per cent respondents.

On financial independence, 26.5 per cent said they were dependent on their family for finances, while 14.1 per cent said they were dependent on others.

More importantly, the survey pointed out that only 29.2 elderly had actual control over their finances.

As many as 57.6 per cent elderly claimed that they face harassment or are ill-treated, even though many of them are owners of their property.

On the persons responsible for the harassment, 54.6 per cent blamed their daughters-in-law or the daughters-in-law and sons both. Elderly women were found to be facing comparatively higher instances of harassment.

Almost half of the financially self-dependent elderly — 48.2 per cent — also claimed they had no control over their money and that their family had actual control over their income.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 5:25:33 PM |

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