Bangalore: Daughters-in-law emerged as the major abuser of the elderly in the lower socio economic strata and sons in the higher socio economic strata, a study has revealed.

The study conducted on "Elder abuse & crime in India" by Helpage India, an NGO working for elderly health care, in nine cities found daughters-in-law to be the major abuser of the elderly (63.4 per cent) followed by the son (44 per cent) from the lower socio economic strata last year.

In the higher socio economic stratum, sons topped the abusers at 53.6 per cent, the study conducted in cities, including Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, said.

The outcome of the study, released by City Police Commissioner Jyothi Prakash Mirji here on the occasion of "World Elder Abuse Awareness Day", reveals that more than one fifth of the elderly have experienced abuse.

While Bangalore tops elder abuse cases with a shocking 44 per cent, it is closely followed by Hyderabad (38 per cent), Bhopal (30 per cent) and Kolkata (23 per cent), the lowest being Chennai (two per cent).

More than half (51 per cent) of the elderly felt that there has been an increase in the incidents of elder abuse in the last three years, with Bhopal recording the highest (80 per cent), Bangalore (74 per cent) and Chennai the lowest (23 per cent).

Around three fifths of the elderly (57 per cent) reported change in cultural values and lack of economic resources among elderly (56 per cent) as reasons for the increase in incidence of elderly abuse in the past three years, the study said.

While Hyderabad has the highest percentage (84 per cent) of elderly reporting change in cultural values, increase in elder abuse incidents due to "lack of economic resources among the elderly" were reported highest in Kolkatta (79 per cent), Bangalore (77 per cent), Hyderabad (72 per cent) and Delhi (71 per cent).

More than half (52 per cent) of the elderly feel the trend of ‘nuclear family’ as another reason for increase in cases of elder abuse.

According to the study, 19 per cent of India's elderly feel neglected. Reasons such as "family members are busy in their own lives/work", "family members do not really interact with them" came up during the survey.

Fortysix per cent of the elderly feel neglected in Bangalore, followed by Hyderabad (37 per cent), Bhopal (30 per cent) and the lowest being Ahmedabad (one per cent).

Mumbai and Bangalore reported the highest percentage of elderly who fear further abuse.

(Agencies)