iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 14, 2014
Abuse of elders is on the rise in the country with 50% senior citizens surveyed by HelpAge India admitting that they have been verbally abused, disrespected or neglected by their families. This figure has more than doubled from last year when only 23% had admitted to same. Delhi, however, ranked the lowest in elder abuse among other metro cities though it also registered a slight increase in such cases from last year.
 
According to the latest findings, only 22% senior citizens in the Capital said they had been abused as compared to Bengaluru where this number was the highest at 75%. Last year, those who faced ill-treatment in the city made up only 20% of the ones surveyed. As many as 90% respondents here stayed with their families. According to the report, 24% of all women surveyed had been abused while 20% men had a similar story to tell.

Of all the respondents in the Capital, 37% said disrespect was the most prevalent type of abuse while 23% thought it was verbal abuse that bothered them the most. Also, 18% of them felt neglected.

Among smaller cities, Nagpur turned out to be the most insensitive towards elders with 85% of those surveyed saying they had been abused. HelpAge conducted the survey among 1,200 elders in 12 cities across eight states this year.

It was also revealed that in 61% cases, it was the daughter-in-law who had made life difficult for the old in the house. For 59% senior citizens, even their sons perpetrated the abuse. Surprisingly, 7% of old parents also said their daughters abused them.

The report said while the cases of abuse have gone up, 41% of those abused still did not report the matter. About 59% of them cited “maintaining confidentiality of the family matter” as the main reason behind not talking about it at all.

“It is a subject often pushed under the carpet. Since many live with their abusers, making a complaint only worsens matters. Children are turning abusers. There is a dire need to sensitize them,” said Mathew Cherian, CEO, HelpAge India.