Elderly Caregivng in Indian Families - Changing Perspectives

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Rajeswari KALIDOSS, Dr., India
India has 100 million people over the age of 65 and is expected to be by 16 % of the population in 2040. In Indian culture care giving is considered as a highly important task and considered immoral and cruel to neglect the needs of one’s elders. Earlier care was given by the family, but on disappearance of joint families and mounting pressure from work it is leaving very little time for family members to care for the elderly. As support systems shrink families consider taking care of elderly as an added burden and this often leads to disputes between spouses. Eventually, the elders feel unloved and uncared for and unheard. The elderly have physical, financial, social, emotional needs and so on. Physical needs are like giving them a bath, clothing them, giving food and medicines at regular intervals, accompanying them for a walk and so on. Financial needs means arranging for their monthly expenditures, managing their bank accounts and other financial transactions. Emotional needs are like sparing time to listen to them even if it did or did not make sense, or making them feels useful by assigning tasks which they can perform. They also have their social needs like attending functions, visiting temples or travelling to new places. A sample of 120 caregivers in the families in Tamilnadu, India has been taken to identify the challenges faced by the caregivers in meeting the multiple needs of the elderly in their families. The results of the study showed that the surprising proportion of those caring for older adults are younger and there is a gender difference in the availability and provision of care to the older persons.