Loneliness and Care Crisis Among the Middleclass Aged in Kolkata (77735)

Session Information: Aging and Gerontology
Session Chair: Joana Grace Carlos

Friday, 29 March 2024 11:15
Session: Session 2
Room: Room D (Live Stream)
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

This paper is based on an empirical study of the growing isolation and loneliness among the aged in middle-class families in Kolkata (Calcutta). The seminal observation is that the rationalization of the family size because of growing age at marriage, fertility control (when the one-child family is the standard), and the large-scale dispersal of the younger members because of marriage (of the daughters) and career opportunities leave the aged members in isolation and loneliness. The other factors that contribute to isolation and loneliness among elderly citizens are (a) the death of one of the spouses and (b) the breakdown of the health of the surviving one to the point of making her/him dependent on others. The inevitable consequences are (1) isolation and loneliness, and (2) a serious care crisis. The modernity-induced “rational approach” to life is the root cause of the crisis as kinship-based life and mutual care which were the markers of the traditional Indian large families a generation or two ago are no longer visible in the fast-changing urban life in the age of globalization. In the absence of any State support the elderly citizens and their children respond to the crisis by (1) hiring the services of professional caregivers of different kinds, (2) by shifting to old age homes, and (3) by making some adaptive changes in living arrangements of the grown-up married children.

Sinjini Roy, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam Government College, India

About the Presenter(s)
Dr. Sinjini Roy is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam Government College which is affiliated under West Bengal State University, West Bengal, India.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00