Psychological abuse of elders was more prevalent than physical torture and many cases of abuse go unreported, said senior geriatric physician V.S. Natarajan.

In a statement issued ahead of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day being observed on Monday, he said that psychological abuse could happen in subtle or overt ways and elders might not even recognise it.

Highlighting that elders often hesitated to speak about abuse due to various reasons, including the fear of worsening the situation further, Dr. Natarajan, founder and chairman of V.S. Natarajan Geriatric Foundation, said the government could organise more awareness programmes at district levels.

“The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day falling on June 15 every year can be observed in a bigger way by recognising families that are taking good care of elders despite difficulties,” he said.

Past 3 months

He said although the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns had put everyone to hardship, he was personally yet to come across cases of physical abuse of elders in the past three months.

“I am providing teleconsulting to many elderly people. I have not heard about any issues so far,” he said.

Lack of access to medication due to lockdown was an issue of concern, Dr. Natarajan said and added, “It has particularly affected those who were receiving their monthly medicines from government hospitals.”

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