India's elderly

Mangaluru tops in elderly abuse in India, Delhi among top five, says report

Conversely, the cities that reported the lowest figures were Jammu, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi and Guwahati, the HelpAge India survey said.

Elderly abuse in India is the highest in Karnataka’s Mangaluru, a report by non-profit organisation HelpAge India said on Thursday. As many as 47% of elderly individuals the organisation interviewed in the city said they had experienced abuse.

Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhopal and New Delhi also figured among the top five cities in India where elderly abuse is the highest. Conversely, the cities that reported the lowest figures of elderly abuse were Jammu, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi and Guwahati.

The report, called Elder Abuse in India – 2018, was published after surveying 5,014 elders in 23 cities. For the purposes of the survey, individuals above 60 years of age were categorised as elders.

As many as 60% of respondents said that elderly abuse was prevalent in Indian society. Almost 88% of these said the incidence of such abuse was high.

Over 50% of the respondents who alleged abuse said the main perpetrator was their son, the report said. As many as 34% said it was their daughter-in-law. Those who said they experienced abuse told the NGO that the most common form of it was disrespect (56%), followed by verbal abuse (49%) and neglect (33%).

Nationally, 25% of elders said they had been a victim of abuse. As many as 41% of those surveyed said they were aware of at least one redressal mechanism, and 35% knew about the police helpline. However, 82% of those who said they experienced abuse did not report it. Among them, 52% said they wanted to “maintain confidentiality of the family matter”.

As many as 60% of the respondents said that the time their children and grandchildren spent with them had decreased since the advent of mobile phones and computers. Of them, 65% said that extreme attention to phones and computers constituted “disrespect”.

An overwhelming majority – 85% – of the elders surveyed said they live with their families.

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