97% people not averse to putting elderly in old-age homes: Study

Attitude: Study also found 63 per cent Believed elderly care to be a moderate burden

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97% people not averse to putting elderly in old-age homes: Study
File photo of Jivan Sandhya Old Age Home


A study conducted by HelpAge in Ahmedabad has thrown up some startling facts about the role of elderly caregivers. The study, 'Elder Abuse in India: Role of Family in Caregiving' found that around 63 per cent of those surveyed found it to be a mild to moderate level burden while 27 per cent thought caring for the elderly was severely burdensome.

About 2/5th of the caregivers believed that it was a better if the elderly stayed separately with the former making a financial arrangement. Interestingly, 97 per cent of the caregivers thought that it was their inherent responsibility to care for their elderly but were not averse to putting them in old-age homes or separate homes.

Nilesh Nalvaya, joint director and state head Gujarat, HelpAge India said that the study throws light on the need to provide financial, emotional and social support to those who cared for elderly. "We need to have government policies that give protection to caregivers and we need to look at innovative ways to ensure that elderly are cared for," said Nalvaya.

The study found that there was a need to change attitude towards old age homes and elderly care. "As of now we have no norms about how old-age homes should be constructed, the scrutiny of their donations and how they operate. We need more government participation in setting up old age homes. We also need infrastructure to ensure that those who take care of elderly in their own homes find some support system," said Nalvaya.

The study covered 102 caregivers and 103 elderly dependents. The caregivers were in the age group of 35-50 years. It explored the burden of care of older persons who stayed with their family and the requirement of the caregivers among others.

It also found that 1/5th to 1/4th of the elderly never sought support for psychological problems and significant number of them never needed financial support for day-to-day activities like mobile recharge, purchase of clothes but were sometimes given financial support in case of medical emergencies or hospital visits.

It also revealed that daughters and daughter-in-law were the primary caregivers and assisted them in various activities like reading etc.

Study: Elder Abuse in India: Role of Family in Caregiving

  • 99% of the surveyed caregivers were responsible for only one elderly person 
  • 52% and a bit more of the  elderly dependents are females
  • 68% of the elderly dependents are aged 61-70 years,
  • 61% of the elderly dependents do not have monthly 
  • 52% to 62% of the elderly dependents always need emotional support 
  • 77% of those surveyed do not feel financial strain while caring for the elderly
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