Atleast 50 pc of senior citizens suffer some form of abuse in Kashmir: Study

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A study by geriatrician shows that at least 50 pc of senior citizens suffer some form of abuse in Kashmir.

The study has triggered a fresh alarm in the region over care for old people.

During a seminar on ‘Elderly Abuse’ in Kashmir University Senior Geriatric Consultant and Director, Gauri Kaul Foundation, Dr Zubair Saleem, highlighted his Kashmir-based study of nearly 27,000 elderly persons of which, he said, at least 50 pc reported to be facing elderly abuse in one or the other form.

“We saw these 26,237 patients in two different settings: those who were financially dependent and those who were financially independent. Besides various effects that we documented like cardiovascular diseases, preliminary disease etc., there was one drastic thing that we noticed which is the psychiatric and sleep disorders in these senior citizens,” Saleem said.

“The study revealed 43 pc elderly abuse in one setting and 52.3 pc in the other, which means around 50 pc. It is not a joke. It means one out of two people. And I think this estimate is conservative because it is only after lots of effort that people narrate their plight,” he said.

Describing the situation as “alarming”, Saleem—also an Organising Secretary of the seminar—also spelt out various forms of elderly abuse and their far-reaching implications on the physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing of the victims.

Vice-Chancellor University of Kashmir Prof Nilofer Khan chaired the seminar on ‘Elderly Abuse’, a first-of-its kind event organised by the Varsity to put a spotlight on the issue which experts described as “alarming in Kashmir”.

The seminar was jointly organised by the Department of Social Work (DoSW), KU, in collaboration with Gauri Kaul Foundation, a non-profit organisation working for elderly care, to commemorate the World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)-2023.

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