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, Chennai and New Delhi.
We deal with 2400 cases a year in Mumbai alone, and our chapters deal with approximately 1400 cases a year.
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 6 Cities :
- Mumbai Dignity Helpline 022 6138 1111
- Chennai Dignity Helpline 044 2621 0363
- Kolkata Dignity Helpline 033 2418 7937 / 4602 0978
- Bengaluru Dignity Helpline 080 2654 2229
- Pune Dignity Helpline 020 2685 1221
- Delhi Dignity Helpline 011 26108031 / 011 26108032