Photos: Old and lonely, India’s elderly choose to live in old age homes

Updated: Jun 28, 2018 11:49 IST

A resident of Panchvati old age home sits next to a carom board in New Delhi’s Tughlakabad. As parents grow old, sometimes abandoned by their families and left to fend for themselves in their twilight years, time is all these people have as their needs actually become fewer. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Another resident of the old age home feels that the biggest challenge for him is not to die in a condition that leaves him dependent and a liability. In old age, dying peacefully is one of his biggest hopes. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Dr. Rajeshwari Singh, owner of Sai Sahara old age home at New Delhi’s Dasghara village. In 2005, she started the old age home with four people which now has risen to 15. There are those who have been de-addicted from their drinking problem yet remain unwanted. There are those who have been abandoned after the death of their spouse. There are those who have willingly come here as life was worse for them with their families. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Moving to an old-age home is a disrupting experience but once here, the elderly do not take too much time to settle in. They don’t want to become a burden on anyone. They understand if their children want to live separately, the only thing they want is little time from them. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

India’s ageing population is growing fast, currently from 100 million it is estimated to grow to 300 million by 2050. In the face of such projected growth it’s important to understand how India treats its elderly. In a survey conducted by Helpage India, 25% of elderly have experienced abuse, and among the main abusers 52% were sons and 34% were daughters-in-law. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

The elderly need qualitative care not quantitative, spending five minutes with them is sufficient but even that becomes bothersome for some families. That is when neglect and loneliness creeps in among the aged which leads them to suffer from self-pity syndrome, thinking of all that they did for their children who now do not want them anymore. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

As per Helpage India’s survey, 22% of the elderly are being exploited financially and 12% of them have suffered from physical abuse. The top five cities with a highest percentage of elder abuse are Mangalore (47%) Ahmedabad (46%) Amritsar (35%) Bhopal (39%) and Delhi (33%). More than 50% of the abusers are skilled workers and working professionals, implying that elder abuse is more of an ethical and moral phenomena rather than a socio-cultural one. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

The government is now mulling a six-month jail term for those who abandon their parents, considering the extent of the problem. Aging is inevitable, but the elderly can learn active aging, by keeping themselves physically fit with regular exercise. They also need to make efforts to adapt the changing times. Whereas, children needs to understand communication is the key. People have to find a middle ground instead of thinking that it won’t work. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

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