Problems of Elderly

In India, the elderly account for 7% of the total population, of which two-thirds live in villages and nearly half of them in poor conditions. [2] Urbanisation, nuclearisation of family, migration, and dual career [3] families are making care of the elderly more and more of a personal and social problem in India. The elderly experience changes in different aspects of their lives Health problems of the elderly All the respondents had health problems, the most common being hypertension, osteoarthritis, diabetes, or bronchial asthma.

Others included cataract, anemia, and skin problems. It is seen that most of the respondents had more than one health problem. Osteoarthritis was found to be more common among females while other health problems were almost similar among both the genders Attitudes towards old age Almost 98% of the respondents felt that old age had affected their day-to-day life. Among these, 86. 4% felt that age had partially affected their daily activities.

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Half of the people interviewed felt neglected by their family members, while 47% felt unhappy in life and 36. 2% felt they were a burden to the family. An unfavorable attitude was observed to be more among females than males Researchs shows that females had poor perception regarding economic and social security as compared with males. Approximately 40% of the respondents interviewed had feelings of insecurity while around 56. 3% were deprived of financial security.

Other reasons of insecurity included illness, not having issues or male children. It shows that 48% of the respondents felt sad mainly because of poverty followed by illness (41. 3%). Other reasons for feeling sad were unwed daughters at home, alcoholic son/son-in-law, financial loss, illness of spouse, children staying away from them, death of children, or not owning a house. It was also observed in the study that only 35. 7% were aware of the government welfare schemes for the elderly and only 14. % (31) had utilized the geriatric welfare services in our study. Three-fourths of the population studied was not eligible for these schemes because of having male children or property. It was observed that 68. 5% of the respondents had friends and social contacts outside the home. In case of a conflict with family members, nearly half of the respondents (45%) preferred to sleep in order to get over it, 33% preferred to discuss it with others, and 20% preferred to find a solution.

It was observed in our study that around 52% of the respondents felt that old age affected their role in the family. A total of 35% of the respondents felt they were not consulted by the family members for making decisions. They felt they were ignored by family members because of their physical illness and economic dependence. In spite of being unhappy due to these problems, they still preferred their home to an old age home for their residence.

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