NEW DELHI: Despite of a kind hearted daughter-in-law often the staple of Bollywood in the past, a new survey has found that they along with daughter-in-law, daughters are also at the forefront in abusing the elderly in a household instead helping them with daily activities like cooking, housekeeping and shopping. Nowdays most of the Daughter, daughter in laws are working, so they expect their parent-in-laws should cook and clean for them and also look after children.
On the other hand, a survey of family members who are caregivers for old parents released to mark the “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day” shows, the percentage of sons is much higher when it comes to shouldering the financial needs of old parents. Sadly though, 35% of those surveyed said they have never felt happy looking after the elderly. because most of parents of men are at the mercy of daughter-in-law and she force her husband to send his old parents to old age home, they just want to keep them alive till their property is written to son/Daughter-in-laws name. thats the sad reality of India.
In terms of caring for the elderly, more often, the assistance is provided by women rather than men for each of the activities of daily living ranging from walking, eating, bathing and changing clothes. Mainly, the female caregivers assist the elderly in eating, but now that trend is changed, instead Daughters helping parents, they expect parents should help them, cook and clean for them.
The study by MyNation Hope Foundations across 20 cities and 100 in depth interviews with working and non-working males and females in the 35 to 50 years age group. It also assessed the profile of 8,593 elderly parents being assisted by caregivers from the family.
The study covered Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur, Dehradun, Mangalore, Nellore, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Shimla, Vishakhapatnam, Kochi, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Patna, Bhubaneswar and Guwahati.
The survey focussed on what they call the “sandwich generation” between 30-50 years. This is the generation where elderly parents has to look after their own children as well as grand children. It is also the generation which has been the primary abuser as highlighted in past surveys by MyNation. “Only if we understand the challenges of this generation, we can empower young generation and encourage them to look after their elderly parents, instead they look after them” Rudolph D’souza, President, MyNation Hope Foundation said.
The results of the survey illustrate that about 15% of caregivers considered taking care of elderly dependent as severely burdensome, while 29% considered it to be moderate to severely burdensome, and 56% felt the tasks to be mild to moderately burdensome.
A majority of the caregivers reported not having enough time for themselves and having lost control over their life. As many as 53% of caregivers said that they express their anger and vent out their frustration and helplessness mostly men because they have be in mercy of their wives, as they cannt go against her wish there many reports/news that elderly are abused and even killed by Daughter-in-law (Please refer below news link) but sons cannt do anything against it because of government policies.
Majority of the caregivers surveyed across cities “feel angry, embarrassed, and a sense of strain when they are with the elderly for whom they are supposed to taken care”. A significant 25.7% caregivers felt fatigue and frustration resulting in aggressive behavior towards older relatives.
There is no proper system to take care of elderly, even there are laws for senior citizen, implementing it is a challenge, when there are dozens of laws in favor of daughter-in-law.