Business Standard

Social life, daily needs most worry elders living alone: Survey


IANS New Delhi
A majority of adults living away from their parents are worried most about the health of their parents. However, for parents, their social life and daily needs are the most challenging concerns, according to a survey.
IVH SeniorCare in partnership with Wellness Health and You (Age Friendly India) conducted 'Jug Jug Jiyenge' survey to understand the perspective of elders and their children on the needs of elders living alone.
The results of the survey highlighted the gap in expectation and delivery between elderly and children.
According to the survey, only 10 per cent elders consider physical health to be a challenge whereas 66 per cent are worried about maintaining their social life and everyday needs, which questions the general understanding of the masses and children living away from parents that health is the most important concern for elders.
For 67 per cent of children living away, the health of their parents is the primary concern and only 18 per cent are worried about their parent's social life and everyday needs.
"The disparity in thinking of children living away from home and their elderly parents raises many red flags. While children are right to worry about the physical health of their elderly parents, the parents' key concerns about missing out on social life and difficulty in meeting their everyday needs highlight underlying mental health issues," G.S. Grewal, Elder Care Specialist and Consultant, Max Hospital and Chairman, Wellness Health & You, said in a statement.
"Children fail to understand that health is not merely the physical health instead it is a state of physical and mental well-being. Living a socially secluded life in the absence of children often predispose elders to a feeling of loneliness, which can later transform into depression," Grewal added.
The survey included a gender-mixed sample size of 1,000 each of senior citizens from Delhi NCR, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, and Karnataka and their children who are living away from them for at least 5 years in all parts of the world.
The data was collected through face-to-face interviews with elders living and alone and through email or telephonic interviews with their children. The results of the survey were obtained by comparative evaluation.
Another finding was that adults who need to socialise or indulge in some recreational activity after 5 days of work to rejuvenate, could not imagine their parents socialising. Ninety-six per cent of children imagined their parents to be homebound. However, 79 per cent of senior citizens want to be out of home socialising with friends and relatives.
"It is important that children engage in regular conversations with parents to have an insight of their needs rather than just relying on assumptions", said Swadeep Srivastava, Founder and Chief Belief Officer, IVH SeniorCare.

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First Published: Sep 27 2018 | 7:10 PM IST

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