When loneliness stalks the senior citizens

The reduction in fertility level, reinforced by a steady increase in life expectancy, has produced fundamental changes in the age structure of the population. This, in turn, leads to the ageing population. The older population of India, which was 56.7 million in 1991, was 72 million in 2001 and is expected to grow to 137 million by 2021. Today, India is home to one out of every 10 senior citizens of the world. Since the number is big their problems are worth discussing.

Senior citizens face three serious problems. They are poverty, disease and loneliness. An emotional and psychological problem tormenting the elders is loneliness. This is due to the growing “empty nest syndrome”. The children go away to far-off countries in search of economic betterment. Even if they live within the country, due to the spread of western ideas such as “spacing, privacy, individualism and non-interference,” the nuclear families are becoming the norm even in villages. Love marriages have further aggravated the breakup of the joint family system. Even within joint families, the elders feel lonely owing to the denial of due respect, concern and care by youngsters. The younger generation generally lacks sensitivity towards elders' need for emotional support. All these factors have contributed to the psychological trauma called “loneliness”..........Click for more



Source Web Page: The Hindu

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