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Status of older persons in nuclear families

– A study by Agewell

Ever changing socio-economic scenario of the country has changed living conditions of the people vehemently. Older persons find it very hard to cope with changed socio-economic setting. Feeling of alienation with a sense of social marginalization is becoming a major problem for most of the elderly. Agewell Research & Advocacy Centre carried out a nationwide survey to study and identify/understand the difference between myth and reality about the status of older persons in nuclear/small families.

For the survey a representative sample of 10000 older persons (5000 each from rural and urban areas) was interviewed spread across 20 states. Interviews were conducted by Agewell’s volunteers’ network.


• 74.4% of older persons were found living in nuclear/small families. Number of older women living in nuclear or small families is slightly higher (75.2%) than older men (73.6%).

• 73.5% of older persons of urban areas live in Nuclear families/small families. Whereas in rural areas 75.3% of older persons live in nuclear/small families. Migration of large rural population to urban areas is one of the major causes of high percentage of older persons living in nuclear/small family set up in villages, in spite of popularity of joint family system.

• 72.8 Older men in urban areas were reportedly found living in nuclear or small families, whereas 11% were living with their joint/extended families. 9.7% of older men were found living alone but with their respective spouses and around 6.5% were found living alone.

• In spite of active participation of older persons in family’s economy and having originally possessed major part of the household/land property, they are rarely treated as respected family member. 23.9% older persons living in nuclear families said that they can look after their grand-children effectively.

• 24.1 % older persons living in nuclear families reported that they are facing various kinds of social problems prominently. Loneliness/alienation was found their major social problem.

• 19.6 % said that medical/health related problems are their most common problems. 17.0% of older persons agreed that they have lost their peace of mind due to legal/property related matters. 18.7 % reported that financial problems are their most urgent problems & 9.1% older persons were facing interpersonal relationship problems.

In short, despite popularity of traditional joint family system in India, emergence of Nuclear families of older persons is on rise in both urban and rural areas, which is alarming situation for traditional family structure. Younger generation in every family set up, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, media and other stakeholders should play a vital role in this direction.

Source: Pressreleasepoint

Categories: General
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