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More than 50% elderly face abuse, says survey

The survey was conducted between May and June this year by Agewell Foundation, an association of 1,500 NGOs.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2018 10:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Elderly,Abuse,Mistreatment
Of the 52.4% who reported mistreatment, 63.7% were neglected or disrespected, 42.3% were physically or verbally abused, and 60.1% were harassed. (Representative photo)

More than half of the elderly people face some kind of mistreatment, a nationwide survey that interviewed 10,000 people above the age of 60 from urban and rural areas has found.

Of the 52.4% who reported mistreatment, 63.7% were neglected or disrespected, 42.3% were physically or verbally abused, and 60.1% were harassed.

The survey was conducted between May and June this year by Agewell Foundation, an association of 1,500 NGOs.

The most common reason for mistreatment, according to the elderly, was society thinking of them as burden, with more than 63% of the people saying so. Property issues were a factor for 55% of the people and generation gap for 41.2% of the respondents of the survey.

Only 23% of the people were aware of redressal mechanisms in case their rights are violated.

“A majority of older persons end up compromising with their circumstances for the sake of care and support from family members. There is an urgent need to make all older persons financially independent,” said Himanshu Rath, founder of Agewell Foundation.

The survey found that just over half of the elderly people think they are independent. When the type of independence was looked into, the survey found that 61.8% were physically independent, meaning that they did not need anyone to help them with their physical needs.

And, 69.4% said that they were socially independent, meaning they were free to interact socially.

“Almost every second elderly person is living with just their spouse, while a little over a quarter live with their children or other family members. And, the number of elderly living alone was a little higher in the urban areas at 25.3% in comparison to 21.8% in rural areas,” said Rath. During the survey, the volunteers also observed that a large number of the elderly people prefer to live alone or just with their spouse.

First Published: Jul 07, 2018 10:46 IST