While technology is certainly helping the elderly live an easier life, it is also leading to a reduction in the actual interactions people have with each other. This diminishing contact is resulting in a serious concern for the elderly, in the form of abuse. There was a time when it didn’t matter who the senior was, they were supposed to be respected and listened to, however we are now facing a situation where elders are becoming perhaps the most marginalized community in a society. And while issues of harassment are being raised as red flags, elderly abuse is not being addressed the way it should  be. These are people who have spent their lives helping people and now all they want is to spend the golden years of their lives in dignity, but are being denied this right by the society.

Elder abuse manifests in different forms, from  physical to  financial and leading upto the most painful and the most common, emotional. While sometime back we could come across a few instances while surfing T.V. channels or flipping through the newspaper, it is now something we can see on a daily basis. A recent survey by Help Age India pointed out that over 71% of the elders are facing abuse from their families and shockingly, sons and daughter-in-laws were responsible for a majority it. This is a difficult fact to digest, however it is the harsh reality of the times we live in. Steps need to be taken and the matter needs to be red flagged with greater intensity, as the abuse is not just confined to metros and big cities, but as the survey points out, is also prominent in smaller towns and villages.

One of the most important questions arising from the data is about its causes. Why do these kinds of atrocities occur? Is it just the generation gap or is there something deeper playing in the minds of people? We are staring into a stark reality  of degradation of the society. Are we moving into a territory which may ultimately lead to breakdown of all domestic ties? While these may seem to be unlikely future scenarios, the possibilities are real and we need to take notice.

The issue of elder abuse is a serious one. One of the best ways to prevent it is to know what it is and how it can be avoided. In the event that you know an elderly individual who is the victim of abuse, there are many resources you can turn to, from public authorities to legal professionals. If you believe someone you know is the victim of elder abuse, seek help. Drop in your views regarding this issue in the comment section.

If you encounter elderly abuse anywhere, please report it to people who can help. Here are a few numbers you can either contact or share with the victims to get in touch with directly:

HelpAge India: 1800-180-1253

Bangalore: STD code: 080

Nightingales and the Bangalore City Police: 1090 / 22943226

Nightingale’s Medical Trust Elders’ help line: 23548444

Dignity Foundation Helpline : 41511307

Chennai: STD code: 044

Help Age Senior Citizens Help Line: 1253

Dignity Foundation’s help line for senior citizens: 42133002

Delhi: STD Code: 011

Age well Foundation’s help line: 29836486

Police Senior Citizen Helpline: 1291

Mumbai: STD Code: 022

Dignity Foundation’s help line for senior citizens: 61381111

Mumbai Police &Helpage Elder Line: 1090

Shree ManavSevaSangh: 24081487

Kolkata: STD code: 033

Dignity Foundation’s help line for senior citizens: 306909999

Senior Citizen Helpline: 09830088884

Hyderabad: 040

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation – Aasara: Toll Free No: 1253

Heritage Helpline: 23390000

Satyam – HMRI – 104

Pune : 020

Dignity Foundation’s help line for senior citizens: 30439100