The impact of neglect and abuse on the psychological well-being of elderly women in Kerala: A study in Ernakulam district, Kerala
Teenu Tellence, Dr. Varghese K Varghese
There is great variance in the psychological distress and the experience of neglect and abuse among the women older than 60 years of age. This segment of the population faces a various number of abusive and psychological problems. Longer life expectancy, early widowhood compared to men, lesser entitlement to assets, declining care and increasing dependency, sexual discrimination and many other factors make the life of elderly women particularly more vulnerable. This study focuses on the impact of the experiences of neglect and abuse on the mental health of the elderly women in Kerala. The study aims to assess the emotional and related social determinants of psychological well-being among elderly women. A cross-sectional exploratory study was conducted in a total sample of 240 taken from elderly women above the age of 60 years using multistage random sampling; a number of 80 elderly women each representing urban, mid-urban and rural areas in Ernakulam district, Kerala. A significant relationship was found between the experiences of neglect and abuse and psychological well-being of the elderly women. In this context, both family support and emotional care for elderly women has paramount importance to promote happy and active aging.