For many senior citizens the problems of life begin at home. Elder abuse can be in the form of physical abuse, psychological abuse, economic abuse and
neglect & isolation. The biggest challenge with elder abuse is that it is usually hidden. A sense of fear that they may be abused more if they speak up
leads to elder abuse being hidden. Hence empowering senior citizens is the most effective tool in the response to elder abuse. A Helpline for senior
citizens enables them to reach out for help and assistance against abuse. It is also helpful in information dissemination thus creating awareness amongst
senior citizens in a number of matters. Dignity Foundation has been running this Helpline since 1995. The Helpline programme operates in all the five
cities – Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai.
The nature of cases handled by the Helpline are as follows :
Loneliness and how to cope with it
Negotiation in disputes within the family and outside
Elder abuse and ways to resolve them
Writing of Will and making it a legally valid document
Elders’ inability to move around in a city in search of treatment and doctors
Total feeling of insecurity, doubt, fear and helplessness and not having anyone else to depend on
Information on old age homes, medical devices, attendant / maid agencies, etc.
Distress calls from elders seeking assistance are handled by a qualified social worker. Everyday the Helplines across 5 cities receives 25-30 calls of
elders who are being abused, harassed, neglected, or denied their rights or looking out for trusted information.
Volunteers trained in basic counselling are sent to the senior citizen's residence on a fact-finding mission. Thereafter, appropriate assistance is
provided to the aggrieved caller. At times specific assistance are required for an effective and speedy redressal of grievances. Dignity has a panel of
experts in each of the 5 cities to address these issues. The experts include lawyers, psychologists, financial advisors and consumer forum experts. Dignity
also involves Police in case where it is required to provide protection to the abused elder.
Dignity Helpline in 5 Cities :
- Mumbai Dignity Helpline 022 6138 1100
- Chennai Dignity Helpline 044 24330363
- Kolkata Dignity Helpline 033 3069 0999
- Bengaluru Dignity Helpline 080 4151 1307
- Pune Dignity Helpline 020 3043 9190
- Ahmedabad Dignity Helpline 079 26580403