Elderly in India feel neglected: Survey

Elderly in India feel neglected: Survey

Elderly people in India feel neglected and their rights being trampled, according to a new survey.  

The survey conducted by Agewell Foundation Society involves around 5,000 senior citizens across the country. The study claimed that every second an elderly person feels that they are "not getting due respect or good treatment from their family or society". At least 48.6% of the elderly population are not being respected by their family or society.

The respondents also feel that they are humiliated occasionally because of their age and even family adds to their woes.  India has around 10.4 crore senior citizens as per 2011 Census with women outnumbering men, an increase from 7.67 crore in 2001.

Close to one-third of those surveyed or 31.2% complained that they were not getting proper healthcare or access to necessary medicines. A government report 'Elderly in India 2016', however, had attributed the rise in elderly population to economic well-being, better medicines and medical facilities among other reasons.

Another worry for the elders were the feeling of being discriminated because of their age - 47.4% felt that they were humiliated occasionally or treated disrespectfully.

Most of them are unaware of their rights and 85.9% of them said they were not aware of human rights entitled to older people.

The survey also found 23.3% of the respondents "living in inhuman conditions or (in other words) facing violation of their human rights in old age". One in every eight senior citizen told the surveyors that they were not getting proper food.

The study claimed that popularity of nuclear family system, lack of inter-generational interaction, less social interaction, age discrimination and non-existence of an inclusive social security system are among the reasons of miserable condition of older persons.

The most common problems faced by elders  due to their age were marginalisation, no say in family matters, no easy access to healthcare, safety and security to their life and property, unavailability of jobs for elderly, financial problems, mobility restricted by family and depression and other psychological problems due to loneliness.

Survey Findings

85.9% -- Never heard about human rights of elderly

12.9% -- Not getting proper food

31.2% -- Not getting proper medicine/healthcare

48.6% -- Not being respect from family and society

47.4% -- Humiliated occasionally or treated disrespectfully

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