June 15, 2012

Elder Abuse in India - A Note


Elder Abuse in India
(World Elder Abuse Awareness Day -15th June 2012)

Indian society is the only society, where people bless their dear ones with blessings like “live for 100 years”, ”May god add my years to your life”, “May god bless you with 100 years of health and happiness”, etc. In India Old Age is a great Celebration in itself.

With fast changing socio-economic and demographic scenario, nuclear family system has replaced traditional joint family system and lifestyle has become very fast. Resultantly there is no space for patience and contentment in the life of younger generations. On the other hand, older persons are not growing rapidly, but also living longer.

Indian society is passing through a transitional period. Older persons have no idea to live in old age without any family support. Younger generations find it very hard to adjust with their aging elders and modern lifestyle driven demanding lifestyle. At this stage there is a greater need of awareness at various levels. Older persons need awareness about preparation for old age while younger generations need to understand old age related needs and problems.

Even today the concept of Elder Abuse is difficult to comprehend in Indian circumstances. We need to redefine elder abuse as per value based Indian society. Incidences of mistreatment of older persons are increasing. Elder abuse has become the reality. Whatever are the reasons, whatever is the situation the fact is that older persons are the victims, they are the sufferers.

Roots of intergenerational bonds are deep in almost all Indian societies. That’s why even today majority of older persons have no plaints about their life and changing world.


 Agewell’s Advisory for secured old age

Tips for older people

·  Stay sociable as you age; maintain and increase your network of friends and acquaintances.
·  Keep in contact with old friends and neighbors if you move in with a relative or change to a new address.
·  Ask friends to visit you at home; even a brief visit insures observation of your well-being.
·  Accept new opportunities for activities. They can bring new friends.
·  Participate in community activities as long as you are able.
·  Avoid interference in the lives of younger family members.
·  Do not complain or instruct unnecessarily.
·  Don't sign a document unless someone you trust has reviewed it.

Tips for Families

·  Be respectful and caring towards old people.
·  Maintain close ties with aging relatives and friends. Keep abreast of changes in their health and ability to live independently.
·  Discuss an older relative's wishes regarding health care, in the case of incapacitation and disposition of his/her personal assets.
·  Find sources of help and use them.
·  Sensitize children about needs of old age and let them interact with old people as much as possible.
  
Never forget, one day you too would be old.