Interpersonal relationships of elderly in selected old age homes in urban India

Jyotsna M. Kalavar, Duvvuru Jamuna


Never before have there been so many old people in India.  According the 2001 Census of India data, the projected figure for 2031 is 179 million seniors.  Dual-career families, changing values, and nuclear family dynamics have altered the social landscape of India.  An emerging phenomenon in urban India is the emergence of “pay and stay” homes as a late life living arrangement for middle and higher-income groups.  This study focused on selected ‘pay and stay’ homes in the four cities of Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, and Tiruvananthapuram. Personal interviews were conducted with 150 seniors to understand the relocation experience, the extent and nature of self-reported social networks, and evaluation by seniors of this late life arrangement. Majority of respondents were female (65%). More than half of the respondents (58%) reported being currently widowed. Results show that childlessness and strained intergenerational relationships were important considerations in the decision to relocate. Majority of the seniors had never conceived that they would be spending their autumn years  away from family.  Occupants frequently conceived of their living space as their “home.”   Living amidst non-family members, the reported network sizes were small. The absence of family members was frequently cited as a source of dissatisfaction when evaluating these homes.


kinship care of elderly; old age homes; interpersonal relationships

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