‘Declining moral values reason for abuse of elders‘

BHUBANESWAR: Mental health experts attributed the increasing discontent among the elderly to declining social values. Psychiatrists added that generation gap also led to cases of elder abuse.

“Declining moral values cannot be fixed with medicines. If people don‘t pay respect to the elderly or show compassion towards them, they will feel slighted.

People should learn these values and take care of the elders, said Surjeet Sahoo, head of the department of psychiatry, SUM Hospital.

He said people have started staying with their wife and children in city leaving the joint family concept. When the children get jobs outside the home city, they become lonely at their home. The people like maid, driver, electrician or any neighbour will never treat the elderly like their own children. Sometimes even the children do not respect their own parents. So the elderly feel neglected, he added.

Biswa Ranjan Mishra, associate professor of department of psychiatry, Bhubaneswar, said the youths have started finding recreation in social media or internet games instead of spending quality time with grandparents or parents. Behavioural pattern of the youngsters is changing. They are neither attached to elder people nor their parents. They are in their own world. It is going to be problematic in future, he added.

Psychologists, who study human mind and behavioral pattern and also provides counselling to people, said the parents should cultivate a sense of empathy in children from a young age. When people get old and lose financial independence, children do not take their parents seriously. Even some children beat their parents to get pension money or other property. The unconditional love and respect to elderly is fading away gradually from society, said Bhaswati Patnaik, head of the department of , .

Udaynath Dash, psychologist from the city, said a few decades ago, children were depending on experienced elderly to get more information and suggestions about the world. But now the scenario is changed. Todays generation is getting most of the information from internet and other mediums instead of seeking help from the elderly people. So the elderly sometimes feel the young people do not need them anymore. But that does not mean the younger people will behave rudely with elderly. Value and life experiences of the elderly can be imbibed by the younger generation, he added.

The recent HelpAge India report showed how Bhubaneswar tops in the country in disrespecting its elderly mass. Bharati Chakra, Odisha head of the NGO HelpAge India, said the family members should spend time with elders and take care of them. A youth in killed his father and mother on Friday. It shows how the moral value is declining in society day by day, she added.

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