Social media disconnecting them from families: Elderly

June 15 is observed as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. A HelpAge India study reveals, that majority of the elderly, in India, feels neglected because their family members' time for them is being cut and used by social media. One of the surveys revealed that 60 percent of elderly were abused.

Social media disconnecting them from families: Elderly

Every year, June 15 is marked as World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day. A HelpAge India study reveals that majority of the elderly feels neglected. The study also reveals that this is because of their family members’ time is spent on social media. One of the surveys reveals that 60 percent of elderly were abused in some kind or other. The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007, was notified to address the issue.

The survey reveals that over 60 percent of the elderly agreed on the point that quality time spent by their children as well as their grandchildren with them has decreased with the increase in usage of phones/computers. Around 65 percent of elderly stated that excess attention towards phones/ computers is disrespectful.

For the survey, as many as 5014 elders, above the age of 60, across 23 cities, were surveyed. Around 60% of elders confirmed that elderly abuse is prevalent in our society. Of those, who reported prevalence, around 88 percent of them believed its existence is high. Nearly 25 percent of them confirmed that they have been a victim of elder abuse.

The survey quoted ‘the most common form of abuse they experienced was disrespect (56%), verbal abuse (49%) and neglect (33%). The main abusers were the son (57%) and daughter-in-law (38%). Only 18% of the elderly confirmed that they made an attempt to report the abuse. And, only 35 percent of the total reporting was successfully resolved.’

It further mentions, around 11 % were aware of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (MWPSC) Act, 2007, while 5% were aware of HelpAge Elder Helpline number. Over 60% elderly agreed that quality time spent by their children as well grandchildren with them has decreased with the increase in usage of phones/computers. And, 65% elderly stated that excess attention given to phones/ computers is disrespectful.

Dr. Kaustubh Joag, a psychiatrist from Pune, said, “The proportion of elderly people in our country will increase by 2025 and it will be around 13 percent. We need many geriatrics and special measures to manage elderly healthcare and mental issues.”