STOP MISTREATING YOUR PARENTS!

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BY DR MANGALA BORKAR

WHAT IS ELDER ABUSE?

Harm caused by an act of omission neglect or act of commission causing mental harassment by verbal abuse, financial exploitation, physical harm (pushing, beating, scalding or burns etc), abandonment

Who is responsible?

Family members like spouse son, daughter-in-law, sibling, grandchildren

or caregivers or inmates in old age homes/in hospital or at workplace.

SON is the commonest elder abuser followed by DAUGHTERIN

LAW.

WHO ARE AT RISK?

Neglected parents especially mother, very old, financially

dependent, having mental or physical illnesses

Why mistreatment by children?

Parents are disabled, dependent, demanding, isolated , financially dependent or widow mother. Parents are seen as others.

HOW TO PREVENT?

Elders should be aware of laws and rights, make a will earlier, not transfer property till self and spouse are alive, maintain relations with other relatives and friends, look after own health and money, be kind to spouse, help in the house as possible, adjust and accept changes, keep occupied, be more contented, but not suffer in silence out of fear of caregiver or for “family name."

DUTY OF FAMILY MEMEBERS?

Children should remember that their parents had not neglected them in their childhood. Give them a little time, attention, care, be patient, keep in touch if staying elsewhere, set a good example, and inculcate values in own children.

Parents are not others, they are your family.

ROLE OF GOVERNMENT & NGOS

Elders should be treated with dignity. Elder friendly environment in offi ces, banks and hospitals. More helplines should be set. Free medical care, nutrition, gadgets like spectacles, sticks, walkers, wheelchairs.

Create awareness about importance of elders and fi nancial support.

Dr Mangala Borkar is a Professor of Geriatrics, Govt Medical college Aurangabad

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