Are you a neighbour, relative, or grandchild of an elderly person? Shakti has developed resources for you.
No matter how old we are, we are all entitled to be treated as full members of our communities.
A study conducted by HelpAge India, revealed that around 60% of elders confirmed that elder abuse is prevalent in India, and committed mostly by their own children. Majority of cases go unreported for many reasons, including a lack of social support needed to make reporting easier. Older adults may be afraid to report abuse and families may not recognize the warning signs. In the light of high prevalence and low rates of reporting, it becomes important to talk about, address and think of ways of how each one of us can help in preventing elder abuse.
Treating elders as right holders is the first step towards an attitudinal shift. United Nations identifies basic guidelines for promotion of the rights of senior citizens and lists down some principles.
The five principles are :
Independence: The elderly should have access to adequate food, water, shelter, clothing, and health care through income, family, community support, and self-help. Older persons should have the opportunity to work or to have access to other income-generating opportunities.
Participation: The elderly should remain integrated in society and participate actively in the formulation of policies which affect their well-being.
Care: The elderly should have access to health care to help them maintain the optimum level of physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Self-fulfillment: The elderly should be able to pursue opportunities for the full development of their potential and have access to educational, cultural, spiritual and recreational resources of society.
Dignity: The elderly should be able to live with dignity and security and should be free from exploitation, mental and physical abuse.
The key to both preventing and addressing elder abuse is vigilance: identifying abuse early and knowing how to help.