How To Create “Elder Abuse” Awareness in India?

“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day” is being observed on 15th of June, every year.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 15th June

In India, “HelpAge India”, an organization fighting against, isolation, poverty and neglect of the elderly people carried out a study recently on the   “Dignity and Equal Rights”  in 24 cities of 20 states in India, on the abuse of elder people.

Help Age India Logo

In the above study it has been found that :

  • About 70% of the elder abuses in India are not reported, because the abused/affected elderly people wish to maintain confidentiality of the family matter and because of fear of retaliation.
  • About  70% of the elderly people were aware of police help lines. However, they were unaware of the “Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007”.

According to the report of the survey, the elder abuse in India is broadly by:

  • Daughters-in-law ,
  • Son and
  • Daughter.

The most common modes of abuse of elder people in India are:

  • Disrespect,
  • Verbal Abuse
  • Neglect and
  • Physical Abuse / Beating and Slapping.

The causes of abuse of the elderly people in India are:

  • Lack of adjustment / Incompatibility,
  • Differences of opinions on various matters in the families,
  • Material possessiveness,
  • Desire for acquiring modern day’s sophisticated materials and own house, car etc.
  • Economic and physical dependence of the elderly people
  • Chronic  Diseases of elders
  • Medical Treatments of elders
  • Longevity of elders.

It is obvious that India is gradually becoming western in culture, due to the impact of modern developments in life-style.

Joint Family Vs Nuclear Family

In India, especially in towns and cities, the ancient/old ‘joint family’ systems have become impossible and it is unavoidable to have the above abuse of elder people in India, which is on the way changing from old Indian culture to the modern / western culture.

Elderly people of India, as they had rightly expressed in the above survey, should continue to be patient and keep the confidentiality of the family matter, even as and if they are abused or ill treated.

However, the present generation and youngsters must try to prepare themselves mentally and financially and educate their off-springs to face or completely avoid the problems of elder abuse in their future.

They must plan to keep their children separately after getting them married. They must try to live on their own independently as long as possible.

And they must be prepared to accept the western concept of  “Old Age Homes” as and when they become fully dependent on others.

Do You Know?:
The popular Hollywood Film Producer / Director and Actor Richard Attenborough,

Richard Attenborough

who is 89 years old now, the Academy Awards- Winner for his famous film “Gandhi” produced and directed by him

and who acted in the popular films such as “The Great Escape” and

“Jurassic Park”,  due to ill health, had moved to live the rest of his life in

Richard Attenborough in Jurassic Park

“Denville Hall” an old age home, where his ailing wife, aged 68 years, has been already staying, inspite of their having son, daughter-in-law, daughter, son-in-law and other relatives.

Richard Attenborough at Denville Hall

Nuclear Families, Practice of  Self Dependency, planning and saving for future and Old Age Homes are some of the solutions for “Elder Abuse” in India.

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