Loneliness creeps up on
’s elders Delhi
Survey by NGO finds 80% of seniors feels isolated; reduced interaction with family is mainly to blame
Additionally, adds Rath, their stagnant incomes and growing costs of living especially in the last two years have led to much self-denial, also resulting in feeling alone, says Rath. “Last two years’ slowdown has hit the old hardest. Interest rates have slipped. Monthly yields are reduced. The pressure’s tremendous,” he says.
Rath gives an example of the stress an average middleclass 65-year-old faces. “With longer life-spans, and given that today, a 65-year-old’s wife will be to years his junior, the retired man believes he has to secure finances for the wife for at least 20 to 30 years.” With skyrocketing costs especially for medical, conveyance and food, the feeling of helplessness is strong.
There may be better medical facilities today, but they’re expensive. Neighbourhood GPs are a thing of the past, points out Rath, a simple blood test will cost Rs 200 at least. “They cut down on the simple things. A third biscuit can mean Rs 1.50 more. I’m talking upper middle-classes who’ve had a certain lifestyle,” he says. Saving for a rainy day, the old are cutting down on socializing also to avoid expenditure. Understandably, loneliness among elderly in
Further, in cities many oldies, says 81-year-old Carol H. Barbosa, have had to financially pitch in to help children who have suffered setbacks and job losses due to recession. “They encash FDs, send money. The financial pressure has grown. It takes a toll, it’s like a physical and mental breakdown,” says Barbosa, who lives by herself in a
The report, conducted via interviews in urban and rural randomly selected districts found that at nationally, 87% of those in their 70s reported loneliness. Interestingly, rural old reported lesser levels of loneliness at 78% than urban ones (90%). At 97%, the loneliest were individual elderly who lived by themselves.
Source:Times of India