Friday, 15 June 2018

I Support Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Its 15 June, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

"Grandparents", the word itself brings in feelings like warmth, love and coziness.

What is it about them that makes us feel nostalgic and teary eyes?

I have been fortunate to spend a big part of my life living with grandparents. And, while they have passed away, the memories has not faded. I have a year old daughter, and how I wish she could have the fortune of sitting on my grandparents lap and take blessings.

In India, we take no shame to stay with our elders and not demand for moving out. Ofcourse, the trend is changing due to work and study options available in other cities, but in general it is very normal to share the same house that forefathers have built and get married and raise children there. The custom of Joint Family still exists widely and it continues to affect positively the lives of all the family members.

Now when my grandparents (both from maternal and paternal side) are no more, I recall them through my cooking. A lot of my recipes are inspired from their cooking or is an original recipe. Yet, my ability to recreate it with the exact same taste is still lacking.

Today I am especially sad because I read about how elder people are abused by the younger generations, so much so, that United Nations General Assembly designed this day for spreading awareness about the sufferings inflicted on elders.

Ageing population is mostly unproductive and do not contribute to the national income. According to the UN General Assembly Resolution 2011, by 2050 more than 20% of the world population will be 60 years old and older and this raises concerns for their livelihood.

According to the UN, elder abuse means "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person".

So, what are kinds of abuses that the ageing elders face?
  • forced marriage of older widows
  • mistreatment
  • denial of rights of older people
  • alone older women accused of witchcraft
  • undiagnosed health checkups
  • misuse of their property
  • denial of inheritance from father or husband
  • poverty
  • improper adherence of their issues and lack of support from judiciary
  • and many more
What are the steps that our state and we as individuals can take?
  • Draft some age-specific policies and poverty eradication plans
  • Build more healthcare centers with additional benefits for the elderly
  • Feedback interviews can be conducted to assess their happiness levels
  • Prioritize spending time daily with the ageing elders of the family
  • Include their choices and perspectives in key family decisions
  • Offer them ideas on age-appropriate means of earning a livelihood and regaining financial independence


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