Relationship between elderly and younger family members deteriorating during Covid-19 lockdown: Survey

Last Updated : 24 April 2020, 14:35 IST

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More than half of elderly people feel that their health is deteriorating and their relationship with family members, particularly with their sons and daughters, have further deteriorated during the Covid-19 lockdown, a survey has claimed.

The survey of around 5,000 people over the phone by Agewell Foundation also claimed that every second elderly person was of the view that they are being mistreated, harassed, shouted at, threatened, neglected isolated or marginalised.

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Around 55% feel that that current lockdown situation is affecting their health condition adversely while 75% said that they missed the "healing touch of their doctor" while 43% have to avoid regular pathological check-ups all of a sudden.

Among those surveyed, 54% are staying with their younger family members while 33% were living with their spouse and 13% were living all alone during the lockdown period.

If one goes by the survey, 52% have said there is "further" deterioration of the inter-personal relationship between the elderly and their family members due to hardly any communication, conflict of personal ego, interests and attitude.

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"Due to the current Covid-19 lockdown...elderly are finding themselves at the receiving end, those who are living alone have practical problems and those who are living with families, have psychological issues...Elderly are getting depressed due to lack of assured medical and financial support, social interaction and lack of independence," Agewell Foundation Founder Chairman Himanshu Rath said.

Almost one-fourth of them believe modern information technology gadgets are the main reason for their disturbed interpersonal relationships while 31% claimed that financial dependence of elders on family members is the primary reason for the bitter relationship.

One-fifth of them claimed that the less space for themselves due to other members staying home while 15% elderly reportedly admitted that neglect of their special needs in old age is the most responsible factor.

The survey said, "11% respondents said that they are highly dissatisfied due to selfish attitude of younger family members. Interestingly, 59% of elderly, staying with their other family members, claimed that they still feel psychological loneliness/isolation even amid their family members. Primary reasons for this situation were neglect by younger family members, unsympathetic relationship, discriminatory behaviour against elderly, rising frustration levels, etc."

Sixty-five per cent of those surveyed also complained that due to lockdown, they have lost their independence, self-esteem and even dignity to some extent, as they have to depend upon others for their basic needs. For 38% elderly, it said, their unfulfilled expectations are now dominating their relationships.

Published 24 April 2020, 14:35 IST

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