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These people are faced with numerous physical, psychological, and social role changes that challenge their sense of self and capacity to live happily. Many people experience loneliness and depression in old age, either as a result of living alone or due to lack of close family ties and reduced connections with their culture of origin, which results in an inability to actively participate in community activities. With advancing age, it is inevitable that people lose connection with their friendship networks and that they find it more difficult to initiate new friendships and to belong to new networks.
Most of the elderly people were found to be average in the dimension of sociability and preferred remaining engaged in social interactions.
After retiring from formal employment, scores of the country’s elderly people are forced to live a life of humiliation, abuse, and isolation. In such a scenario, one is compelled to think about the living conditions of the aged from the economically weaker sections.
According to the latest study conducted by Agewell Foundation, 65 percent of old people are poor with no source of known income. The good news is that 35 percent still have money, properties, savings, investments, inheritance, and above all supportive children.
The study, which had a sample size of 3,400 spread across 323 districts across the country, also stated that older women are more prone to suffer abuse due to factors like gender discrimination, longer life span than older men, a longer span of widowhood and no source of income as traditionally most of them are housewives.
Respect and care
“One must maintain close ties with aging relatives and friends. Keep abreast of changes in their health and ability to live independently. Discuss an older relative’s wishes regarding healthcare, in the case of incapacitation and disposition of his/her personal assets. Sensitize children about the needs of old age and let them interact with old people as much as possible,” said Mr. Rath. It just takes giving some respect and care to the elderly to make their day.