Elderly mistreated, feeling lonely, need counselling in Delhi and across India, says study

Approximately 59% elderly respondents said social status of older people in Delhi-NCR deteriorated in the past 15 years. Only 24% reportedly claimed they have seen improvement.
Approximately 59% elderly respondents said social status of older people in Delhi-NCR deteriorated in the past 15 years. Only 24% reportedly claimed they have seen improvement.(Alamy)
Approximately 59% elderly respondents said social status of older people in Delhi-NCR deteriorated in the past 15 years. Only 24% reportedly claimed they have seen improvement.(Alamy)
Updated on Jun 29, 2017 12:23 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

More than half of India’s elderly (53.53%), including those in Delhi-NCR,are mistreated, says a study.

The survey titled ‘Changing Needs & Rights of Older People in India’ by Agewell foundation says that the elderly in urban areas are more prone to mistreatment compared to rural areas.

In urban areas, approximately 2/3rd elderly respondents (65.22%) reportedly admitted that they were mistreated in old age, while in rural areas, 47.69% elderly respondents accepted that they had experienced mistreatment, the study working on a sample size of 15,000 elderly people found.

Approximately 59% elderly respondents said social status of older people in Delhi-NCR deteriorated in the past 15 years. Only 24% reportedly claimed they have seen improvement.

Besides, 47.49 per cent elderly people suffer from loneliness, it stated. The condition was found to be worse in urban regions with 3,205 elderly people out of 5,000 feeling lonely.

“In urban areas 64.1 per cent elderly were found suffering from loneliness, whereas as in rural areas 39.19 per cent elderly (3919 elderly out of 10,000 rural elderly) claimed that they are suffering from loneliness,” the survey said.

Himanshu Rath, founder-chairperson of Agewell foundation said, “For majority of the respondents, the reason was living alone or with their spouses. For 27.3 per cent of the elderly, it was less interaction with family members, ‘poor health’ was a factor for 19.06 per cent and 12 per cent people said they faced isolation and non-availability of social interaction.”

“36.78 per cent elderly suffering from loneliness claimed that living alone or with their spouses only is the most responsible factor for their condition,” the survey noted.

The study also noted how every fifth elderly in India needs some kind of psychological counselling.

“Out of the 15,000 total respondents, 2,955 admitted that they seek counselling or advice from their relatives or friends, when they undergo psychological problems,” it said.

Among those affected, the share of urban elderly (63.86 per cent) was seeking psychological counselling was higher than those in rural areas (36.14 per cent).

The survey conducted during the months of April- June 2017, the survey was spread across 300 districts of 25 states and Union Territories of India.

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