Elder Abuse in India (2014) – Helpage India report

All general assumptions on Elder Abuse i.e. it does not exist in India and is a Western phenomenon and that it is a metro centric phenomenon which does not exist in small towns and does not occur in the educated middle-class strata, have been proven wrong.

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elder abuse in India 2014  Helpage India report

Today there are 100 million Elderly in India. This figure is likely to increase to 324 million, constituting 20 % of the total population, by 2050. This exponential rate of increase is leading to changes in the family structure and societal attitudes.

HelpAge India has carried out research on Elder Abuse for the last 3 years to highlight the growing concern about the wellbeing of the older persons in Family, which traditionally has played the role of protection and care giving. This concern about abuse also emanates from the experience of the organization in dealing with cases of isolation, neglect and downright violence reported to its helplines working across the country.

All general assumptions on Elder Abuse i.e. it does not exist in India and is a Western phenomenon and that it is a metro centric phenomenon which does not exist in small towns and does not occur in the educated middle-class strata, have been proven wrong. The most common assumption that in old age the Son would be the main caregiver has been completely shattered. The Son along with the Daughter-in-law is increasingly turning abuser. Surprisingly there is an emerging trend of the Daughter also turning abuser.

This year the survey was conducted in 12 cities, 6 Tier I & 6 Tier II cities. There has been a marked increase in the percentage of elders who reported experiencing abuse from 23% in the previous year to 50%. There is a minor difference of 4% between Tier I & Tier II cities. Within the Tier II, Nagpur reported the highest incidence of Elder Abuse at 85% as against 75% in Bengaluru within Tier I cities.

Verbal Abuse, Disrespect and Neglect continue to be the three major types of abuse. Economic & Emotional dependence of the victim on the abuser has been cited as the major reasons for Abuse. Strangely, Economic dependence of the Abuser on the victim is also cited as a major reason.

Even today, one in five Elder is unaware of any currently available redressal mechanisms. While majority of victims aware of the Police Helplines, a miniscule minority approach them.

To read full Helpage India report locally click here or access this and other reports externally at  Helpage Research Reports.

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