Elder Abuse among Indian Diaspora is a serious problem: Prof. P.K. Mishra

Published Date:   Sunday, Sep 09, 2012


Prof. P.K. Mishra who was invited to speak on the topic Elderly Abuse Among Indian Diaspora : Problems and IssuesThe seminar conducted by GRFDT on 18th August, 2012 mentioned that there are two way problem of the elderly in developed countries where the elderly face the problem of communication gap, western civilization and the state faces the problem of increasing number of elder abuse, providing more of old age home, care workers etc. Elderly abuse was identified by WHO (2002) which defines it as single or repeated act of inappropriate action occurring in the society where there is expectation of trust which causes harm. Pedmix, Wolf, Loswerg were some of the researchers who found various categories of abuses namely: physical, psychological, financial, passive and active neglect of elder, self neglect, violation of elderly rights and privileges, social, systemic or collective. These problems were not just reported in USA but in many other developed and even developing  countries. The various steps taken include adult protection initiatives by the immigrant community and effective legislation by the state. He even emphasized on the issue of  empowering the elders as one of the important solution to this problem. This empowerment practice should be the responsibility of the community by providing the elders with skills, knowledge, options to make concrete decisions. Neenax (1995) also talks about empowerment model emphasizing the importance it hold among elders. Prof. Mishra also suggested the need for  proper diagnosis  of various related problems t involved in abuses like health related issues. Several scholars have advocated the need for  providing more elderly home, participation of NGOs and  trained  care giver facilities. More and more training to care givers can provide a good sense of ethics and human approach to the problem which he terms as ‘ care with a smile’. To get this ‘care with a smile’ the care  givers who are basically from developing countries like  India ,should also be given incentives about the nature of work, reduction in  working hours to minimize the stress, increase in salary and perks etc. One of the question put forward was regarding the interface between youth and elders .    A possible solution  is sending their off springs regularly  to the home country by the immigrants so that they may learn the culture, ethics and values of Indian society but this again raises the question of what constitutes  the Indian culture ? Is there no elderly abuse in Indian society? A study on the home county’s elder’s condition was missing. Among all this interesting debate and discussion, the seminar ended with a vote of thanks from Mr Rakesh Ranjan.



Report by Tasha Agarwal and Pankaj Anand

School of Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi


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