The Covid-19 lockdown period has bought some of the worst attributes of people to the surface, abuse being a significant one among them. As per a new report, about 73 % of the elderly population encountered increased abuse during the imposed lockdown amid the second wave of COVID-19.
Agewell Foundation published the report ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, based on responses from 5,000 elderly, which noted that 82 % of the respondents professed that their life had been severely affected due to the current COVID-19 situation. 73 % of the respondents reportedly said cases of abuse against them rose during and after the lockdown period, and 61 % maintained that interpersonal relationships were the main factor responsible for fast-increasing incidences of elder abuse in families. The survey discovered that 65 % of elderly respondents were facing neglect in their life while about 58 % of the respondents said they are suffering abuse in their families and society.
Reportedly, about every third elderly (35.1 %) claimed that older people face domestic violence (physical or verbal) in old age. Himanshu Rath, Chairman of Agewell Foundation, said the COVID-19 situation and related lockdown rules and restrictions have affected almost every human being. Still, the elderly population is the most vulnerable to the coronavirus threat as well as its impact.
“There is an urgent need to sensitize the entire community about the growing incidences of elder abuse. Older persons also need to be educated about support systems, legal provisions and non-formal support network, accessible and available to them,” he said.
Older women are worst affected due to their weak financial status, increased dependency level, and an even longer lifespan than older men. However, elders rarely report occurrences of abuse due to various factors like lack of awareness about their rights, poor physical health, and lack of social support system, the report said.