Violence against older adults is a well-recognised socio-psychological and public health problem worldwide. It is uncared-for, undiagnosed, and untreated problem that is widespread across both developed and developing countries. Therefore, this paper aims to understand the extent of socio-economic status related inequality in violence against older adults.
Data for this study came from Building a Knowledge Base on Population Aging in India (BKPAI). Violence against older adults was the outcome variable for this study and defined as older adults who faced any abuse or violence or neglect or disrespect by any person. Bivariate analysis and regression-based decomposition technique is used to understand the relative contribution of various socioeconomic factors to violence among (N = 9541) older adults.
The most dominant form of violence is verbal (10%) followed by disrespect (5.8%) and economic violence (5.2%). Older adults aged 80 + years [OR: 1.49; CI: 1.14–1.93] and working [OR: 1.26; CI: 1.02–1.56] had higher likelihood to suffer from violence than their counterparts. On the other hand older adults who were currently in union [OR: 0.79; CI: 0.65–0.95], living with children [OR: 0.53; CI: 0.40–0.72] and belonging to richer wealth quintile [OR: 0.35; CI: 0.24–0.51] had lower likelihood to suffer from violence than their counterparts. The decomposition results revealed that poor older adults are more prone to violence (Concentration index: -0.20). Household’s wealth status was responsible for 93.7% of the SES-related inequality whereas living arrangement of older adults explained 13.7% SES-related inequality. Education and working status of older adults made a substantial contribution to the inequalities in reported violence, explaining 3.7% and 3.3% of the total inequality, respectively.
With no or meagre income of their own, older adults belonging to the poorest wealth quintile have little or no bargaining power to secure a violent free environment for themselves. Therefore, special attention in terms of social and economic support should be given to the economically vulnerable older population.