June 26, 2010

INDIA: Over 100 Old Age Homes, But State Capital Does Not Care For The Old

HYDERABAD, Andhra Pradesh / The Times of India / June 26, 2010

City second in ill-treating senior citizens, says report

HYDERABAD city doesn't seem to respect its elderly. In a nation-wide survey conducted by HelpAge India, Hyderabad finds itself at a disturbing second rank for physical abuse of senior citizens. It was found that 21.7 per cent of Hyderabad's senior citizens face abuse at least once in a lifetime.

The survey was conducted in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Bhopal, Patna, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Almost 1,000 senior citizens over the age of 60 years participated in the poll with 102 from Hyderabad alone.

According to the report, one-fifth of the city's elderly were unaware of what constituted abuse but the other respondents did note disrespect from children, lack of financial support, neglect and physical beating as the forms of abuse they had faced.

S Dass, joint director, HelpAge India, said that depriving parents of basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter fall under emotional abuse, and was the highest in Hyderabad compared to other cities. The report finds that 33 per cent of the elderly who registered police complaints to report abuse said nothing came out of it.

Lack of awareness about NGOs and other senior citizens' welfare association services acts as an obstacle from getting help at the right time. The report finds that level of awareness is the lowest in Hyderabad. Only 22 per cent of the people were found to know about the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.

There are more than 100 old age homes and 129 senior citizen welfare associations in the city but financial limitations, lack of awareness and the social pressure of living with the family prevent the elderly from using these services.

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