Elders Helpline 1090
Elder abuse can be defined as an act intended to harm an older person by way of physical, emotional or psychological, mental, sexual, neglect or financial distress. Elder abuse includes abuses or harmful acts committed by close family, known relatives, friends, neighbours and paid caregivers. Abuse of elders takes many different forms, some involving intimidation or threats against the elderly or physical assault, some involving neglect, and others involving financial exploitation. Frequent arguments or tension between the caregiver and the elderly person and changes in personality or behavior in the elder are the most common signs of abuse.
According to the World Health Organization, elder abuse is a problem that exists in both developing and developed countries, yet is typically under-reported globally. Until recently, this serious social problem was hidden from the public view and considered mostly a private matter. Even today, elder abuse continues to be a taboo, mostly underestimated and ignored by societies across the world.
Abuse of the elderly by family members or caregivers is a sensitive issue that does not come out in the open as often as it should. While on one hand many elders are harassed by their own family and deprived of their legitimate rights, on the other hand, neglect is highly prevalent in institutional settings where elders are denied their basic requirements. There is a need to create awareness about the presence of elder abuse in our society, address the problems of abuse and to make the public aware of remedial measures that could be taken by the abused.
A majority of older persons face elder abuse all the time throughout their old age irrespective of their financial or social status, health condition and role in their respective family. As of July 2015, it was found that over 65% of elderly in India face abuse of some sort. A more shocking and painful fact is that the elderly are abused in their own homes, in relatives’ homes, and even in facilities responsible for their care.
WHAT WE DO:
Elders Helpline 1090 (toll free number) - a joint project of the Bangalore City Police and Nightingales Medical Trust, has been set up to tackle the problems of elder abuse in Bangalore since 2002. This initiative is supported by the Department for the Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens, Govt. of Karnataka.
The Helpline 1090 propagates Nightingales Medical Trust’s vision of ensuring a life of dignity and security to all elders by combating harassment and abuse and since its inception it has been handling an average of 40 calls per day.
Elders can call the Helpline 1090 to reach out for help and assistance against all forms of abuse. Our committed staff comprising of social workers, counselors, volunteers, legal professionals and police personnel are skilled to sensitively and tactfully solve cases that are reported here. Elders can be assured of emotional support from the helpline staff during the course of intervention.
Assistance and advice on legal matters, information on various service providers for elderly can also be availed through this helpline.
Services available at the Helpline:
- Prompt intervention when elders in distress call for help
- Timely support, reconciliation and reunion in family disputes
- Facilitating police intervention in serious cases
- Rehabilitation & counseling
- Interacting with other service agencies and government departments
- Information on service providers for elderly and other needs of elderly
- Tracing down missing/ straying elders
- Creating awareness about elders’ rights, children’s responsibilities and involvement of the public in minimizing crime and violence against elders
- Free legal advice on Thursdays & Saturdays
- Facilities for alternative dispute resolution methods
- Processing of identity cards for senior citizens
- Awareness programmes / talks on issues pertaining to rights of elders
Since 2002 we have received more than 1,60,666 calls, and as many as 8,662 complaints have been registered of which 4,521 (53%) are resolved. All the services at the helpline are free of cost.