Background Old age is a challenging phase in life since people retire from work and physically become vulnerable to various health problems resulting into dependence on others. Limited research in this filed prompted the researcher to understand the perceived neglect and nature of violence experienced by the elderly people in Kolkata in addition of physical and psychological problems.
Methods A total of 200 elderly people, 100 male and 100 female, participated in the study voluntarily provided complete data and they were selected following convenience sampling technique from five Old Age Homes in and around Kolkata (India) in 2014. A specially designed Semi-structured Questionnaire was used for data collection.
Results In addition to range of physical health problems, they experience various psychological problems. Further findings disclosed a very disturbing picture as 87.0% female elderly people reported feeling of insecurity at their own house compared to 16.0% male elderly people which was found to be statistically significant at 0.01 levels. At the same time, 82% female elderly people reported neglect as compared to only 7.0% male elderly people (p < 0.01). Again significantly more number of female elderly people reported mental harassment. So far as physical violence is concerned, 15.0% and 9.0% female and male elderly people reported that they had experienced the same (p > 0.01). Interestingly an overwhelming number of elderly people were happy at the Old Age Homes. However, about 52.5% felt that Old Age Homes should be more neat and clean and quality of food should be better (39.5%). A good number of them (16.5%) also suggested that there should be some recreational facilities at the Old Age Homes.
Conclusions In general, female elderly people reported experience of more neglect, feeling of insecurity, mental harassment and even physical violence as compared to male counterparts. The safety of elderly people should be taken care of by the local government in terms of sensitisation of the larger society through mass and media, bringing strict legislations and through community vigilance with the help of local community-based organisation.
- elderly people
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