Confined in their homes, over 56% elderly surveyed say they face abuse

4 months ago 30
google news

NEW DELHI: Ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day observed every year on June 15, a survey, on the status of elderly persons with special focus on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, shows that 71% elderly respondents said that they believe that cases of elder abuse have increased during lockdown period and after.
More than half 2804 (56.1%) out of 5000 elderly respondents said that they are suffering abuse in their families or by society. The forms of abuse include a wide range from disrespect and verbal abuse, silent treatment (not talking to them), ignoring their daily needs, denying proper food, denying medical support, cheating financially, physical and emotional violence and forcing the elderly to work.
The survey was steered by volunteers of civil society organisation Agewell Foundation between June 1 to June 12 is based on responses of 5000 elderly respondents in different parts of the country including metro cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta and Chennai. The volunteers reached out to the elderly through phone calls.
Of the 2804 respondents who said they were facing abuse, 79% said that elderly face mistreatment in old age mostly due to financial reasons.
The study further indicates that current Covid-19 crisis and lockdown related rules and restrictions have forced most senior citizens above 60 years of age to live in isolation. A very high 69% of elderly respondents claimed that their life has been affected adversely during the prevailing situation arising out of the pandemic.
A significant 71% of elderly respondents said that they believe cases of elder abuse have increased during the lockdown period and after. Among them, 58% claimed that interpersonal relationships are the main factor responsible for the fast increasing incidence of elder abuse in families. Besides this 63.7% of elderly respondents said they were facing neglect in their life.
Himanshu Rath, Chairman, Agewell Foundation shared that it comes through in the survey that due to coronavirus a negative atmosphere has been created around older persons, who are termed as the soft target of coronavirus. “Older persons are not only facing social restrictions but also family restrictions, imposed by their own respective families. Many elderly persons suffering from medical complications are not able to visit their doctors. They are also not able to interact and share their worries with their friends/relatives,” he added.
Rath feels there is an urgent need to sensitise and build awareness among families and at the same time the elderly themselves need to be educated about facilities, support systems, legal provisions and non-formal support networks. He emphasised on the need to have dedicated helplines for elderly people facing abuse.

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