Feb 22, 2012 at 09:55am IST

Elders of an abusive state

KOCHI: Abuse of elderly is on the rise in the state with more and more of them seeking shelter in old-age homes. According to the records available with the District Probation Office and the Revenue Division Office, around 203 cases were registered during 2009-2010. It grew to 305 during 2010- 2011 and 389 cases came up in 2011-2012.
A recent study by HelpAge India on the extent of elder abuse in Indian families conducted in the state revealed that around 39 per cent of the respondents were abused verbally or psychologically while 12.7 per cent experienced physical abuse.
The major abuse faced by them is negligence from family members. Another 10 per cent faced financial exploitation by relatives.
According to the study, 62.4 per cent faced abuse from sons whereas the abuse from daughtersin- law stood second with 59.2 per cent.
According to Biju Mathew, state head of HelpAge India, the Kerala Elders Helpline gets around 10-15 calls every month. However, there is no accurate data in this regard. It is difficult to accurately measure the extent of elder abuse as most families deny such actions.
It is estimated that around 90 million people in India are above 60 years of age. The projections also say that elder population of India will be 142 million by 2020.
Population aging in Kerala is always ahead of the national scenario as 11 per cent of the total 77 million elderly (above 60) population of India in 2001 was from Kerala. People above 60 constitute 13 percent of the states population of about 3.34 crore according to the 2011 census.

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