Covid-19 forces children to abandon elderly parents in city

Chennai: There have been several cases of children abandoning their parents on the streets and seeking admission into oldage homes during the past two months.

The main reason is the fear that Covid-19 affects the elderly first. So, having senior citizens in the house is seen as a risk factor. Other reasons are poverty and helplessness.

During the lockdown, police found a lot of elderly persons left on the roadsides. They helped themsleves with food served by social workers and slept outside shut shops.

Founder of Subhadra Home in Uthandi, J Bharathi says, “People are doing it out of helplessness. From April I have been getting such calls.”

Talking about one such case, she says a 70-year-old woman from Kandanchavadi who was diabetic was admitted into her home.

“The family lived in a rented house and the landlord opposed the presence of the elderly woman in the house fearing she may contract coronavirus and spread it to others. Her son was out of work and could not support her. I agreed to take her in provided her son facilitate a pending surgery on her. He arranged for the money and I arranged for a doctor. Now she is fine in the home.”

She says it is not easy for the homes to keep taking in people and they need to make sure the inmates follow social distancing. Some homes are making temporary extensions to accomodate more homeless persons.

It may be noted that at a home in ECR with 40 inmates, 12 were found to be Covid-19 positive.

Srinivasan of Appaya Dikshitha Foundation says he has been getting inquiries from both senior citizens and their children for ‘reputed’ oldage homes.

A distressed couple called him for help after their children left them in an apartment fearing Coronavirus.

They wanted to be moved into a home as they could not manage their day-to-day activities on their own.

Kumararaja, a resident of Velacheri says he recently admitted two elderly women in their 80s to a trust-run home in Pallikaranai. It is a heart-wrenching thing to do.

The local police had contacted Kumararaja to arrange for a facility after the senior citizens were found abandoned on the streets.


Naomi N