Examining the lived experiences of ageing among older adults living alone in India

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Abstract

In the postliberalization era, a large number of older adults are choosing to live alone in urban India. With the rise of the nuclear family system, older adults residing with their adult children are gradually on the decline in the urban areas of the country. Despite losing their spouse, older adults in urban India intend to stay alone and not shift in with their adult children. Instead, older adults with financial security in urban India prefer to rely on assisted living for physical support and network ties outside the family system for emotional sustenance. To retain their own individual agency, these older adults do not favour institutional caregiving arrangements either. However, in their course of staying alone these older adults continue to face several challenges in their regular existence. Drawing from the sociological theories of modernization and everyday life, the present study highlights how majority of the middle-class older adults in urban India are opting to lead an independent existence and in the process dealing with everyday issues. Specifically, findings from this study suggest that filial ties are also changing as in their course of chartering a self-sufficient lifestyle, older adults are depending more on domestic servants, drivers and shopkeepers for their daily needs as opposed to their own adult children. In particular, this study indicates how mobility, food preferences and access determine lived experiences of ageing. By focusing on the regular concerns of older adults living alone, this study aims to shed light on the micro-issues of ageing in India.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAgeing Issues and Responses in India
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Pages207-219
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789811551871
ISBN (Print)9789811551864
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Nursing(all)

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