December 29, 2010

Agewell’s Winter Initiative “SPREAD THE WARMTH”


December 23, 2010

Agewell’s Winter Initiative “SPREAD THE WARMTH”

For Destitute Older Persons

Agewell Foundation has initiated “Spread The Warmth” campaign to ensure no needy & destitute old person is deprived of warmth this year. Agewell has already started the process of mobilizing donation & collection of old/used woolens from across Delhi & NCR & distribution of woolens amongst poor & needy older persons.

Ironically, every year thousands of old, destitute and poor people die of the cold in India. On the other hand, most of us let our old woolens lie in cupboards and suitcases, unused. Agewell appeals to socially inclined individuals and socially responsible organizations to come forward and join hands with Agewell’s initiative.

Over the years, Agewell has been doing this collection from amongst its regular contributors. However with every passing year the demand for woolens is increasing (probably because of combined issue of increasing number of old people and relentless inflation) and the collection levels have been limited.

This year Agewell has set up Collection Points at all the Malls, Posh localities, Clubs, Residents Welfare Associations as well as select schools (while sensitizing the younger generation towards their responsibilities towards senior citizens) across Delhi NCR. Hundreds of Agewell volunteers spread across Delhi & NCR have been dedicating their time & efforts to make this initiative a great success.

Needless to say, the initiative is helping a very large number of Old People in facing the challenge of severe winter conditions.        

About Agewell

Agewell Foundation has been extending a helping hand to the destitute and needy older people of the country since 1999. Agewell is a consortium of 1500 NGO's spread across 540 districts with over 70000 dedicated  volunteers and extends a helping hand to 25000+ old people everyday. For more details about Agewell Foundation, you may visit our website at www.agewellfoundation.org .



November 4, 2010

Agewell's Symposium

"AGE NO BAR"
Under the Series of Symposiums on Needs and Rights of Older Persons
on
26th November, 2010
at 
Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi



October 21, 2010

WILL power


Death of husband and head of family is DISASTER for any Indian Family. In many homes, children have left the nest and settled outside the city and/or working abroad. All relatives who come generally leave after the fourth day. It is then that the widow realizes the problems she is going to face when alone.

This note has been prepared with the fond hope that husband when alive, will take certain actions, which considerably reduces the chances of harassment after wife becomes widow.   In this respect sensible FINANCIAL PLANNING can be crucial.

Anticipating a tragedy may be one of the most important bits of financial planning a wife can do.  Thinking ahead to protect yourself and your children in the event of a disaster, while perhaps emotionally difficult, need not take a great deal of time or be very complicated nor very costly unlike in USA, and you could someday be very grateful you did it.


WHEN A WIFE BECOMES WIDOW AND FINDS HERSELF SUDDENLY ALONE – PREPARE
DISASTER MANAGEMENT PLAN NOW


Step I
Separate WILL and get them registered

You and your spouse should make separate WILL and get them registered.  In India (Delhi) getting a WILL registered costs Rs 500.  Abroad it may cost $ 1500-2000.  It's a myth that people in their late 30s and early 40s are too young to worry about a WILL.   Indeed that age group suffered most on September 11 attack in NY and most died intestate or without a WILL.  Lack of WILL makes the process of recovery lengthier and complicated resulting in court cases.

It's also a myth that you need to have substantial amount of money and assets including immovable property to make a WILL.  If you fail to make your WILL, your property will be distributed by law to your legal heirs – including your mother, widow, children(s) etc. as in the case of Indian Hindu male. In the case of Hindu women, property goes to husband, daughter and son.

Legally speaking there is no difference in registered and un-registered WILL.  However, if one goes by experience, Banks, Government Offices, Insurance Company, Municipal Corporation, DDA etc all insist for Registered WILL. Also, there are lesser chances of people going to courts, if WILL is registered.

It is also essential that a copy of WILL should be available with YOU or your lawyer/friend/relative so that it is easy to get same in the event of your or spouse death.

Step II
Keeping records


Your disaster management plan costs nothing but time.  You and your husband should gather all of your key records, a copy of WILL and information where original is kept, account numbers, safe deposit locker information, insurance, PF, PPF beneficiaries and the like. Keep them in one place but definitely not at where you work.  

  All those in employment in high positions depend too much on their Offices and/or on PAs to keep such records without, may be without the knowledge of wife. Can a better system be devised by such persons?

Step III  
Keeping Records updated


You should also update your records and files every month so that you are not caught up with unpleasant surprises.

Amar Pandit, Financial Analyst, Mumbai says that in his experience only 5% have proper financial records.

You must keep an ASSET REGISTER.

Step IV  
Stay Informed


If you have opened an account in Bank, PPF, or taken a life policy before marriage, do remember to change your nominee in Bank, PF, PPF, Insurance Policy etc.   Ensure that after marriage, nominee and beneficiary under the WILL is your spouse in all instruments.

Step V  
Keep track of following


House and Flats:-  Original sale deed, if on power of attorney the original POA, original documents given by DDA/Housing Agency to original allottee, payment receipts, allotment letter, last payments, possession letter, letter of physical handing over of house/flat, registered WILL of original allottee, sale deed, special and general power of attorney, etc. (a word of caution – never part with your  original/photocopy of documents to anyone), house tax receipts, bank account numbers, cheque books, locker number and bank, FDRs of bank, companies and other financial instruments nomination under GPF, PF, PPF, Post Office accounts, car papers and insurance, income tax files, insurance policies including life, house hold, mediclaim, etc.   Pension file, legal cases file if any, DVB, DJB payments, passport and their numbers if any, property on rent – original lease deed and host of other documents.

Step VI
Write Name of Helpful Person


Write down the name of person(s) who will be helpful in period of distress.

All this may sound gruesome but sudden death of your spouse is something you might have to face one day.  The bottom line in disaster management planning is to help the surviving partner and make the transition to a life without you.


Recently Agewell Foundation has launched a Scheme titled as
“Dharohar” for Safekeeping of Will Documents.

For more details about the scheme contact us at agewellfoundation@gmail.com 
or visit our website www.agewellfoundation.org 

September 30, 2010

"CHANGING TRENDS OF OLD AGE”

A Study by Agewell Research & Advocacy Centre (for Needs & Rights of Older Persons)
In Celebration of  
International Day for Older Persons, 1st October

On the occasion of International Day for Older Persons, 1st October, 2010, Agewell has conducted a survey on fast changing needs of older persons of the county, with an objective to bring about a perceptual change in society about changing trends of old age.

In today’s fast paced life, nothing is permanent but change. Change has become acceptable to population of all ages. Even older persons, who are known for famous adage - “Old Habits Die Hard” are talking about change, they are all set to change their old habits of adjusting or adapting themselves in whatever environment is given to them till few years back. In most of the societies, older persons usually lived a marginalized life, though with respect from society members. But today, in completely changed socio-economic scenario they also want to remain in mainstream of the society.

The survey was conducted during the 3rd week of September and 15000 older persons from across the country were interviewed.

MAJOR FINDINGS
·        90.32 % older persons want to change things accordingly, so that they can better their old age. Only 9.68% older persons were in favour of adjustment with present environment or conditions.
·        In the age-group of 60-69 years 98.97% people want to change the present environment, where as 96.55% and 51.6% in the age-groups of 70-79 & 80+ respectively want to change their living conditions.  
·        Older men were found more dissatisfied (93.61 %) in comparison to older women (87.11%). 
·        In rural areas 83.51% older persons are expecting or working for change in their lives whereas in urban areas almost all older persons (97.13 %) told that they want change, irrespective of the kind of change.
·        ¾ old rural women (78.93%) were thinking of change in their lives, whereas 95.39% old urban women were not satisfied with present circumstances and voted for change,
·        88.26% Older men from rural areas were found struggling for bringing in a change.
·        1/5th older persons (20.22%) gave 1st priority to change the social environment. 15.87% older persons expressed their desire to change medical set up so that their life could be more comfortable.
·        Fast changing financial,  psychological and interpersonal needs were found as major concerns of older person

Study concludes
-   To get rid of social marginalization, loneliness, isolation and even negligence  in old age, older persons are struggling to change their way of living and thinking. They don’t want be marginalized any more, instead they want center stage. 

-   Older persons are desperately looking for new opportunities, avenues and possibilities, through which they can utilize their energy, knowledge and capabilities & can bring a perceptional change in society about Old Age.

-   Society in general and opinion leaders & policy makers in particular need to understand fast changing needs of older persons due to fast changing socio-economic & demographic scenario of the country, so that older persons friendly environment could be ensured in the society and older persons could get opportunities to play an important role in society.

“Why should I tolerate ill-treatment from my daughter-in-law? After all I am also getting a good pension and living in my own house. If she doesn’t mind herself, I can live on my own with my wife”                        – Harish Chandra Verma, 71, New Delhi

September 18, 2010

Survey On Depression in Old Age


Survey conducted by Agewell Research & Advocacy Centre 
(for Needs & Rights of Older Persons)

September 2010

Quotations by Some of the old people who were interviewed

Brij Bhushan Sharma and Shaymla Sharma, both in their 80’s are forced to live alone in their quite big house located at Greater Kailash. Their sons are settled abroad. They hardly visit them, even for months; they could not talk to their sons and grandchildren. Money is not a problem for them at all, besides their good income from their investments; their sons too send money for them.  But due to loneliness and isolation they have been facing depression for years. Both of them suffering from multiple diseases and have to visit their doctors almost every day.

On the other hand a 75-year-old lady Harjeet Kaur, who lived in a traditional joint family of 8 members, feel also suffering from depression syndrome. She says, “I had worked hard for the welfare of my children and even grand-children, but now they have no time for me, instead they treat me as a burden on their family. My daughters-in-law, who spent most of their time, also don’t appreciate my opinion in family matters. Due to physical weakness I could not go to meet my old friends or relatives.”

65-year-old widower Javed Ali of Shahdara lives alone in his house. His sons & daughters left him and settled in other parts of the city. He worked as a carpenter, now his body doest not permit him to do work hard. He anyhow managed to take care of his daily needs.  He has no major diseases but he felt depression due to lack of family support. Depression caused a lot of tension in his mind. When he visits his grandchildren, he felt much satisfaction, but circumstances again part him from his grandchildren. It seems that he is cursed to live with his loneliness silently and ungrudgingly all alone. 

Pankaj Verma, a 70-year-old retired school-teacher has a full-fledged family with caring family members, but he is depressed. His reason of depression is his chronic illness, which rendered him bedridden. He along with his family members has spent a lot of money on treatment of his illness. He cursed himself that his illness has snatched all the money and happiness from his family. He could not go outside and meet his friends/relatives.   

These are few examples of common older persons from different socio-economic backgrounds, but their ground reality is same – they are suffering from Depression in Old Age.
 
Agewell recently conducted nationwide survey amongst 10000 older persons. It was found that:
·        In 71% cases of older persons, in spite of their active participation in family’s financial matters as well as social obligations and having originally possessed major part of the household/land property, younger family members are ignoring them.

·        According to 55% older persons, social interaction is one of the major factors that determine level of isolation in old age. In rural areas people have more social interactions and less pain of isolation or loneliness.

·        73.5% of older persons in urban areas have limited access to social interactions, due to various reasons; consequently they face lower self-esteem and decline in interpersonal skills. They are also found to be more self-conscious.

·        39% of older persons living in joint families and even in nuclear families have limited or no interaction with their own family members. Interpersonal relations are not found healthy in many cases. This is yet another reason of their loneliness in old age.

·        Analyzed that in opinion of 86% older persons isolation or loneliness in old age is critical, as it leads depression/ nervousness causing many diseases. It does not only weaken their mental health but also affects physical health in old age.

·        Elderly women (46%) were found less isolated due to their inner strengths than elderly men (31%), like patience, fine-tuning with family/society members, etc.

In pursuit of its overall objective of “Facilitating Better Life for Older Persons”, Agewell Foundation as a part of its on-going initiatives brought out a booklet “Depression in Old Age”. The aim of this publication is to provide a guide to the causes of Depression in Old Age, its symptoms, and ways to overcome it.

According to Himanshu Rath, Founder Chairman of Agewell Foundation said, “Depression is quite common among many of the people, particularly in old age. It is a major social challenge that cannot and should not be ignored. However, to fight Depression in Old Age, both the suffering older persons and the family members need to join hands and work together to bring back the golden happy times.”

Special features of the booklet:

Causes of Depression in Old Age

Causes of depression varies from individual to individual. Through the booklet it is attempted to identify every single reason of depression in old age. Knowledge of causes would certainly help in taking precautionary steps.

Symptoms of Depression in Old Age

Symptoms of depression arise at the very early stage of depression. Understanding and regular study of these symptoms at early stage help in keeping depression at bay.

 Dementia versus Depression

Sometimes, people get confused about dementia & depression. They treat them as diseases of same family. But the reality is much different. This booklet provides better understanding of these two diseases, which can be helpful for many affected people. 
Treatment of Depression in Old Age

There is no specific treatment of Depression in Old Age. Indeed treatment of depression is mix of counselling, interaction, psychological treatment and medicines. This Booklet emphasises that family support is like a panacea in Old Age.
Tips for helping a depressed older person

This booklet contains few tried and tested practical tips for combating depression, particularly in Old Age, which may help depressed older persons to a large extent. In this section, role of family members, relatives, friends and caregivers has also been described.Self-Help for Depressed Older
In today’s society of nuclear families, majority of older persons live alone in their houses, especially during daytime. Sometimes they feel much depressed, during that period when no one is around. In such situations self-help techniques help a lot. Booklet suggests that older persons should encourage self-help in their lifestyle and organise self-help groups in their society to keep themselves busy, so that depression could be kept away.
This booklet on Depression is being circulated as well as distributed for Free by Agewell on request by sending a mail at agewellfoundation@gmail.com or it can be downloaded from its website www.agewellfoundation.org.

 

Media Reports on Survey













September 14, 2010

Agewell Booklet on "Depression in Old Age"

 
 
To view complete booklet, click here
http://www.agewellfoundation.org/Depression%20In%20Old%20Age%20-%20Agewell-Booklet.pdf



Inside delhi

Madhur Tankha

Guiding the elderly

To ensure a better life for senior citizens, non-government organisation Agewell Foundation has prepared a booklet on depression focusing on symptoms and causes. Titled “Depression in Old Age”, it offers a guide to the causes of depression in old age, its symptoms and ways to overcome it. 

The Foundation has recommended possible treatment and solutions to help depressed people. Through its helpline for older persons, it receives hundreds of distress calls from senior citizens daily. It has found that 80 per cent of senior citizens in Delhi and the National Capital Region are facing problems like loneliness, isolation and little interaction with family members/relatives/friends. The majority of older persons were found to be depressed for more than one reason. 

According to Agewell Foundation founder chairman Himanshu Rath, depression is quite common among people, particularly the elderly: “It is a major social challenge that cannot and should not be ignored. However, to fight depression in old age, both the suffering older persons and the family members need to join hands and work together to bring back the golden happy times.”

The booklet on depression is being distributed free by the Foundation on request by sending a mail to agewellfoundation@ gmail.com or can be downloaded from www.agewellfoundation.org
Staff Reporter


September 11, 2010

Agewell 's Symposium OLD AGE : A BOON OR A CURSE

Symposium-cum-Interactive Session 
on 
OLD AGE : A BOON OR A CURSE

Under the Series of Symposiums on Needs & Rights of Older Persons
at 
Gulmohar Hall, INDIA HABITAT CENTRE
on 
10th September, 2010


DO JOIN US !



August 23, 2010

DHAROHAR - Keep Your WILL in Safe Custody

Latest Initiative of Agewell Foundation
 
Every one must write his/her Will so that his/her dependants, relatives, friends or any other close could avail legacy  (inheritance benefits).

This is advisable by the law.  This is also the law of nature. Inheritance when distributed by the owner to inheritor, not only gives immense satisfaction to the lawful owner it also leads to a harmonious and peaceful life for the inheritors.

At Agewell Helpline we are constantly asked to keep their Will in safe custody. So far we have only advised old people to write their will, but now Agewell has started an innovative scheme to extend a helping hand to old people in the name of  Dharohar – Keep Your WILL in Safe Custody”.

Why Dharohar for Older Persons?


Writing a Will and keeping it in a safe custody is need of the hour. It has been seen that when family members and relatives of old people came to know of his/her Will details, they make it a bone of contention. This leads to family quarrels and tension in their lives. Older person looses his peace of mind in old age and is discomforted in many ways.

Often, people find it very difficult to satisfy all legal heirs with his/her Will. Therefore it becomes impractical to expose their Will details in front of concerned people /family members, etc.

Indeed Will is not only a legal document, but also a sensitive document. Its safety is very important. Therefore it must be kept with trustworthy people always. But older persons are always skeptical about some of their family members and relatives. They always fear about safety of their Will, reaching their Will in the hands of wrong / distrustful people. Many older persons opt bank lockers or their solicitor to keep their Wills, but for these facilities they have to pay higher rent on monthly/yearly basis for a long period, even for their entire life. This discourages older persons to hire a bank locker or hire services of any advocate. And in absence of assurance of safety of their WILL majority of older persons prefer not to write any Will, which at the later stage causes family feud, mental tension and conflict in life.

Safety of the WILL in Old Age remains a major concern of Older Persons. Realizing this Agewell Foundation, has launched yet another pioneering scheme for older persons “Dharohar – Keep Your WILL in Safe Custody” with an objective to ensure stressfree and peaceful old age for all.

Main features of the Scheme:

-         Dharohar – Will Safety Scheme  is open to all.
-         Sealed envelope with WILL document can be deposited with Agewell Foundation for safe custody by Will-maker in person in presence of 2 witnesses. Alternatively Will maker will hand over sealed envelope with Will to Agewell Representative at his/her place personally in presence of 2 witnesses.
-         Two alternative names (inheritors/solicitor or any trusted persons) to be mentioned on the envelope for handing over the sealed WILL document to the assigned persons in presence of witnesses after demise of Will maker.
-         Will-maker will be issued a formal receipt for Will Deposit under Dharohar Scheme
-         Will-maker can ask for his Will-Document envelope for making changes/amendments as and when he/she desires in presence of 2 witnesses.
-         Agewell Foundation will keep his/her Will in safe custody for a one-time fee of Rs. 1500/-  only.
-         Name and contact details of 2 persons on Envelope, to whom will writer wants to handover the will after his/her demise.
-         Agewell Foundation will also assist older persons in making a Will. Draft of Will is available with Agewell for older persons.


Media Reports on Agewell's Latest Initiative - Dharohar 


August 2, 2010

Symposium on 14th Aug. at India Habitat Centre

On
Intergenerational Values 
under the Series of Symposiums on Needs & Rights of Older Persons

July 19, 2010

Agewell Legal Study on Changing Mindset of Older Persons


Agewell Research & Advocacy Centre

AGEWELL LEGAL STUDY

ON
CHANGING MIND-SET OF OLDER PERSONS TOWARDS LEGAL JUSTICE

JULY 2010

Delhi & NCR

Background

We very often see agitated and old persons fighting, shouting and raising their voices and gesticulating in banks, reservation counters or with auto rickshaw drivers, vegetable vendors or shop keepers. They do this largely due to their demands of righteousness or other personal/medical reasons in their behaviour.

Exhibiting anger and putting up a fight is justifiable in human nature. When injustice is experienced, if one is ill treated, when one is found fault with for no reasons and the like, the old person tends to start believing that they can get their way only if they strongly demand, converting the same to a habitual fight for every small reason – as if the whole world is against them. Following are a few recognized reasons.

As our culture defines, older persons should be and expect to be respected merely because of their age. The past has taught them to demand respect. They operate & feel that they will be listened to, tolerated and not answered back, because of the culture of youngsters showing respect for the old. But the times are changing and the cultures, no doubt still practiced largely, are seeing a sea change from the nextgen.

Many live with an extreme sense of self righteousness. This causes them to assert their rights forcefully. They stick to rules and are not prepared to tolerate errors due to human nature.

In the given life of individual growth and restricting means, senior citizens feel unattended, weak, lonely or helpless. This is largely attributable to physical conditions like partial deafness, poor sight, lack of briskness etc. This makes them feel they will be victimized or exploited. As a mechanism of avoiding any sort of victimization, arising out of paranoiac feelings – they tend to seek justice or fight for themselves.


Taking the above into consideration, the only Right that they feel they can exercise without seeking any approval from anybody is the Legal Right.

We see a lot of elderly in our country trudging dedicatedly to the lawyers or the courts, seeking legal re-courses for what they believe was their right and either is under threat or has been taken away and they can re-acquire or get compensated if their representations are moved under their supervision.

There are many self-righteous old people, who have experienced, seen or defied victimization and in some manner either want to correct the same or establish the fact that they are not ready to accept any more of the same. It becomes the way of expressing their inner grief or their life’s ambition to have contributed to their family or the people at large.

Overview

In India over 3.1 Crore cases are pending before various courts of law. In Delhi only over 12 lakh legal cases are pending. As per the statement of a High Court Judge, Indian judiciary system will take more than 3 centuries to clear the backlog. There may be thousands of reasons behind this turtle-paced work mechanism of our judiciary but it has certainly changed mind-set of older persons towards legal justice.

Older persons are the worst affected victims of our slow and inefficient judicial system. There are thousands of examples, where people got justice after fighting relentlessly for decades. Many older persons have even died while struggling to get justice.

During the past decades it has been observed that number of legal cases involving older persons has increased rapidly. According to Progress reports of Agewell Volunteers spread across 540 districts of the country, many older persons are busy with court cases in spite of their old age related problems like physical, psychological, financial, inter-personal, etc.

To identify the factors that pushes older persons to follow court cases and to understand the level of activeness/ role of older persons in struggle for legal justice, Agewell Foundation surveyed over 3000 older persons (in three age groups - 60-69 years, 70-79 years & 80+) of Delhi & NCR involved in various legal cases.

Age Groups of Older Persons
Delhi
NCR
Total
60-69 years
904
745
1649
70-79 years
455
388
843
80+ years
301
207
508
Total
1660
1340
3000


For the survey the target area was divided into 9 geographical zones – South Delhi, North Delhi, West Delhi, East Delhi, Central Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad & Ghaziabad. The survey was conducted during the 1st week of July 2010, involving Agewell volunteers providing their voluntary services in Delhi & NCR.

Major findings of the survey

  • Young older persons (60-69 years) were more active in legal exercises. Almost 55% litigating older persons were found from the age group of 60-69 years. 16.93% older persons were of 80+ years, who were still fighting for legal justice.


  • Only 43.7% older persons were found fighting case against specific injustice done. In the age group of 60-69 years of older persons only 42.15% older persons were involved in legal battles against specific injustice.


  • When the interviewer tried to understand the nature of cases, for which older persons are struggling, it was found that majority of older persons (56.3%) were fighting legal cases just due to their ego problem or due to addiction for fighting legal cases. In the young age group (60-69 years) % of such older persons was upto 57.85.

  • During the survey it was found that almost 70% litigating older persons were involved in more than 2 cases.

  • 38.6% litigating older persons have more than 4 cases pending with various courts in their names. In the age groups of 60-69 years % of such older persons was quite higher (41.24%).

  • It was found that even after 60+ age 21.67% older persons (28.63% from the age group of 60-69 years) have filed fresh cases with various courts.

  • According to 59.2% older persons in all the three age groups, approached during the survey, said that it is their compulsion to attend courts of law due to old pending cases. Whereas 40.8 older persons boast that they are fighting for legal justice. Due to Old Age it may be difficult for them to take the cases further, but they are not ready to loose the legal battle in mid way.

  • When asked about what a legal case means to you, in 60-69 years age group less than half (44.9%) older persons think that legal cases have become compulsion for them. 55.1% older persons said that it’s their struggle for legal justice.
  • When survey team tried to identify reason for sudden increase in cases of older persons, it was noticed that many older persons after retirement from active service life, filed their cases before various courts for justice.

  • Over 55% older persons said that due to plenty of free time available with them they can fight and prepare for their legal battle, for which earlier they had no time. 41% older persons give priority to their changed attitude towards life and judiciary over the years. They said that they could not fight for their rights earlier due to various family & career responsibilities.

  • In 70-79 years age group for 72.84% older persons, legal cases are compulsion and for 27.16 % older persons their legal battle has become a matter of pride for them. In 80+ years group just 15.94% older persons show interest in fighting for legal justice.

  • It was found that 62.9% old people (71.8% in 60-69 years age group) are proud of the fact that they are fighting to get justice. They believe it’s an occupation for them and keep them active.

  • They also believe that when they win the case, they would be respected more by the family, particularly younger members of their family.

  • It has been analyzed that for 72.5% litigating older persons, this passion of legal relief, is erupting from the fact that they want the members of the family to believe that they are fighting for their (family members) benefit and hence establish a value to get looked after by the children, through which they are able to make their life a bit more comfortable.

  • From the study it is also assessed that as a person becomes more and more available to time, this is the best past time to have some topic and issue personally owned by them to relate their usefulness in the society. It could be out of stopping further victimization by their family, in their own personal life or the society at large.

  • It was found that in all age groups of older persons financial frauds related legal cases were prominent. Older persons have also filed legal cases against various governmental /public authorities, neighbors, relatives and even close family members.

Survey teams found the following Major Challenges before Older Persons of Delhi & NCR

  • Crime against senior citizens
    • Hurting senior citizens by family members/relatives
    • Injury/Murder of lonely older persons
    • Robbery of older persons
  • Harassment for property by children & relatives
  • Elder Abuse
·         Physical
·         Emotional/ psychological
·         Financial
·         Confinement
·         Sexual
·         Neglect of medical care, mental or social stimulation, personal hygiene or daily necessities
·         Willful deprivation of food, shelter, water, clothes or supervision
·         Financial exploitation of the victim’s money, assets or property; forcing signatures on legal documents; forcing will changes
·         Fraud
·         Intentional or unintentional
·         Economic or emotional dependency by the elder or the abuser
·         Stress, mental illness and/or a substance abuse problem which allows the caregiver to lose control

Observations

This trend clearly reflects the changing mindset of elderly people. It seems that new generation of older persons is much aware of their rights and responsibilities.

In Old Age people become more assertive and they want to fight for their every right. They take legal route and even ignore legal complexities.

Older Persons live in anticipation of better tomorrow. They believe that they have better understanding of things.

For many of them, it’s an occupation, which keeps them busy & active. Fighting court case gives old person a sense of importance with the family.

It gives older persons an opportunity to keep all the younger family members in hope of getting something from them when and if they win the cases.

All the above factors motivate older persons to follow court cases and give them lot of self-importance and respect within the family.

Most surprisingly, it has been observed that loopholes in our legal process encourage people to misuse judiciary in their favour. In Old Age older persons also find it better way to teach a lesson to others.

Filing cases with courts due to their egoistic nature or for manipulation of laws by majority of older persons shows that they have become addicted to legal process in anticipation of a favorable decision just like a lottery ticket buyer.

Although it is a very positive sign that in spite of sluggish and lengthy judicial process older persons have faith in the legal system. But changing attitude of people in Old Age towards filing legal cases,  thus making them addict to legal process in not a happy equation at all.

Conclusion

Definitely there is an urgent need to set up special fast track courts for senior citizens, which will encourage older persons to fight against crime and make a crime-free society.

At the same time, concerned legal authorities should have proper mechanism for providing legal counselling to older persons who want to file their cases before any court. This would not only decrease the workload on our judiciary but also reassure older persons about quick and satisfying solution of their problems.  

 ***