ITitle of the research problem

Table of Contents

(I)Title of the research problem: Problems of the Rural Elderly Women: – “A sociological study in Golaghat district of Assam”.(ii) Introduction:Population aging is an obvious consequence of the process of demographic transition and it creates an imbalance in the age structure over a period of time. The developed regions of the world have already experienced its consequence, while the developing world is facing a similar scenario. The constant increase in the number or percentage of the aged has caused short and long term effects on society (Sati, 1988). Various factors can be made responsible for the increasing life span and a subsequent high percentage of the elderly population in many parts of the world (Rao, 2007). The factors can be identified as increasing the birth rate, the control of pre-natal and infant mortality, improvement in nutrition, basic health facilities and control of communicable diseases, etc. (Sati, 1988, Rao, 2007) All women in rural and frontier areas are affected by access issues, specifically the lack of primary and specialty care. Rural areas also tend to have higher rates of chronic disease, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Rural senior women are more likely to be disabled, widowed, older and poorer than urban or suburban senior women. They also lack access to many of the human services available to their urban and suburban counterparts. This can impair the care, well-being, independence, and quality of life of older rural women. For example, senior women experience more health issues that affect their ability to drive than men. Rural areas often have limited public transportation, and residents must travel greater distances to access health care, social opportunities, healthy food options, and other necessities. These issues force many rural seniors to move to locations with more human services or to enter a nursing home earlier. Diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, some types of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease occur most frequently in adult and aging women. Rural areas lack many social and health services to care for older women such as primary care physicians trained in gerontology and geriatrics, geriatricians and other specialists, social workers, nurse managers, and caseworkers. The result is that rural senior women receive fewer health services, such as screening for age-related cancers, than their urban counterparts. In this study, an attempt is made to identify the problems of the elderly women of Rural Assam. As we know, in a society like the one in India, women have been neglected all along. Discrimination and devaluation that women are exposed throughout their lives have a major impact on their health and well-being as they go through the process of aging. Older adults who live in rural areas have the same concerns related to healthcare access as other rural residents. They may also face challenges related to:• Transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and other essential and leisure activities• Housing quality and affordability, including how to pay for needed repairs and modifications• Availability of home and community-based services and long-term care in their communities(iii) Objectives of the study:-1. To study the changing role and status of elderly women in the family.2. To study the changing relationship and interaction of the elderly women with the family members living in the same household and children living separately, with friends, neighbours, relatives.3. To study the economic problems of elderly women.4. To study the problems related to the maintenance of physical and mental health of the aged.5. To explore the correlates of good adjustment in old age. (iv) Research question:-1. Does a successful life of elderly women depend on the continuity of the attitudes and activities of middle age?2. Does the Utilization of leisure time differ according to age, educational level, and health status and income group?3. Do the elderly women who engaged in some occupation have few problems than who have no engagement never been in any occupation?4. Whether mutual withdrawal of the elderly women and society from each other necessary for good adjustment in old age?5. Whether good adjustment in old age depends on the continuity of one’s preferred lifestyle as long as possible?(v) Review of literature:Review of literature National -Audiarayana (1999) based on a survey of the elderly widowed (274) and currently married (242) women reveals that the elderly widowed are more likely to live with their children. Generally both the widowed and married women are more inclined to live with their children when they belong to economically better households. Living in urban areas tends to increase significantly the likelihood of co-residence with children among the widowed elderly.Bagga & Sakurkar (2000) studied about Socio-Demographic Determinants of Mental Health in old age. Data were collected on a sample of 100 aged (60+ years) Maharashtrian Brahmin women of Pune city. Information regarding their general physical health and social-demographic information about the living arrangement, marital status and their educational attainment were collected using a structured questionnaire. Among the socio-demographic parameters under study, the most important feature that pushed the neuroticism score to the peak was living arrangements. Women living along with distant relatives or non-relatives showed the highest score as compared to women living with their spouses or families. Infect, women living with a spouse alone, showed a slightly higher score than the women living with their families constituting of their spouse and children,Batra (2004) had made a comparative study of the engaged and disengaged women after retirement to show the social components of active aging. The study reflected the problems, positive and negative consequences of engagement and disengagement on the wealth, economic and social status of the retired women. Goel (2006) had carried out a study on the nutritional status of elderly in a Rural Area at block level Primary Health Centre of the Department of Community medicine, L.L. R.M. Medical College, and Meerut covering the area by a network of 24 sub-centers. 360 aged persons above 60 were collected for the study. The majority of the respondents were in the age group of 70 years and above (52.5%) and females outnumber males, 52.8% in comparison to 47.2% males. Majority (58.1%) of elderly studied were economically dependent and about two-fifth (38.2%) of the elderly belonged to lower socioeconomic status. Mishra (1989) had carried out study on the social problems of adjustment in old age encompassing 800 retirees from two cities of India. Social, financial and physical status of the aged was assessed with an interview schedule as situational factors. The attitudinal as situational factors were the attitude towards social change, non-interference of in personal affairs of grown-up children, as well as popular beliefs. The behavioural factors were routine activities, the relationship with family and friends adjustment.N.K. Chadha et. al. (2006) had conducted a study on marital status and leisure activities among the elderly. The objective underlying the study was to see how effectively the elderly were able to spend their leisure time by involving themselves in various activities like cultural, social, solitary and physical activities and how the difference in material statuses influences the leisure activities. The investigation was carried out on a sample of 200 persons aging 60 years and over. The sample was taken from the National Capital Territory of Delhi. It consisted of 154 married and living with a spouse and 46 widowed elderly. Rafiq &. Nadeem (2007) had conducted a study on the adjustment issues in old age in Kashmir. The study included both rural and urban aged population of Kashmir. The same comprised of 400 respondents in the age group of 60-69 years. The study focused on the demographic background, adjustment pattern of the elderly and a comparison between male and female, rural and urban elder respondents in their adjustment. The study revealed that 58% respondents lived in a joint family and 42% in a nuclear family. Sin re class 1 officers, 50 were class II officers and 50 were class III employees. The sample comprised teachers, section officers, clerical staff, etc. The samples were selected based on non-probability incidental sampling technique. The study was conducted with two objectives – (i) to understand and compare the adjustment of women retirees from different hierarchical levels: class I, class II and class III. (ii) To study and compare the adjustment of women retirees with different marital status: with a spouse, separated and widowed. The findings of the study showed that retired women with a spouse had a better adjustment on the whole, as well as, in all its areas (health, self, emotion, home, and social adjustment), as compared to separated and widowed followed by separated women retirees.Swarnalatha (2009) has conducted a study on the Health Problems of the Aged Women in Rural Areas of Chittor district with a 400-sample size. The findings of the study showed that morbid conditions among clearly women were eye problems (79.9%), dental problems (73.9%), anaemia (64.3%), muscular-skeletal diseases (56.3%), cardiovascular diseases (44.8%), ear diseases (32.7%), oral cavity diseases (11.5%), gastrointestinal diseases (10.8%), respiratory (9.0%), skin diseases (8.5%), endocrinal diseases (6.0%), genitor-urinary diseases (5.3%), overall 86.8% of elderly women had one or more morbid conditions. The average number of morbid conditions per woman was 4.3.Review of literature international -Clarke (2010) examines the relationship between aged women and aging pours. The women in the book express discontent about their aging visage. They also emphasize the importance of functional abilities and suggest that appearance becomes less central in later life. Drawing on in-depth interviews conducted over ten year, Clark brings alive feminist theories about aging, feminist, and the body. The book also discusses medicine theories about aging, feminist, And the body. The book also discusses medicine and the aging process. This book makes an important and timely contribution to the discussion of ageism and older women‘s experiences of growing older in a youth-obsessed culture. Calleja (1999) in his article edited and published the select proceedings of an International Conference on Eliminating Poverty in Old Age: A Developing Country Perspective Organized in December 1996 by the International Institute on a developing country’s perspective and to draw out possible solutions to combat poverty effectively aging. The objective of this book is to focus on the many faces of poverty in the old age.(vi) Research Methodology: Study Area: where required -The study is going to be conducted in the Golaghat district of Rural Assam. The total population of Golaghat district is 1,066,888 and the population of female in Golaghat district is 523,727 according to 2011 census.The present study will be a humble attempt to throw light on the socio-economic life of the elderly women in rural Assam, and conducting a case study on multi -caste group of Golaghat district to support findings.The study will be conducted in the Golaghat district of Assam covering 60 elderly living in 6 villages of the district. The Following are the villages which have been selected with a different perspective with regards to different groups. (i) Two villages are selected which is situated far from the district headquarter inhabited by ‘Kalita’ community, (ii) two other remote villages have been selected which are inhibited by the multicast group. (iii) Two multi-caste ‘fringe’ villages have been selected to study the status of elderly women.(5) Materials and methods:5.1 Methodology – A Methodology is a set of ideas or guidelines about have to proceed in gathering and validating knowledge of a subject matter. It also provides a guide for carrying out an investigation relating the topic. This study will use both primary and secondary data. Also, the information will be collected by using an interview schedule both in structure, unstructured manners.RESEARCH DESIGNThe study will be exploratory in nature and qualitative in approach, thus after the data collection, the focus of attention will be on analysis for interpretation. The advantage of applying qualitative methods are that they can explore and assess matters that cannot be summarized numerically. The Researcher cannot limit themselves to only those aspects. This can be reduced or simplified to numerical representation as quantitative research does. Thus the analysis will be based on a qualitative approach. Techniques and tools: SECONDARY DATA While secondary data shall be drawn from published books, journals, manuscript and any other printed material available related to the study. Primary data The Interview schedule will be prepared for the collection of Primary data from the primary sources. To study the mental health status of the elderly it is very important to have a look into their ‘happy life’. For measuring ‘happiness’ a happiness scale will be prepared. Voice recorder and camera will be used during the interview and focus group discussion. SAMPLING PROCEDURE:Snowball sampling will be used by the researcher. The researcher will try to identify the respondents through interaction with the people of the villages.Data analysis: The study will cover both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data will be analysed with the help of SPSS. For analysis of the qualitative data thematic interpretation of the ‘case studies’ will be done. The Conversational analysis will be adopted for the analysis of the recorded conversation during the interview and focus group discussion.(vii) Relevance and Anticipated Outcomes- The study is empirical in nature and it is field intensive. This study will help the policymakers in several ways-1. This study can help the policymaker to adopt an appropriate strategy to deal with the problems of elderly women.2. The plans and programs adopted and implemented for elderly to date are universal since the policymakers have placed the elderly in a homogenous category. Therefore the plans and programs have not only proved to be inadequate but also non-inclusive. The Elderly population is a heterogeneous category and their problems may vary according to age, gender, caste, class, tribe, etc. This study will help policymakers to understand the problems of the elderly women specifically.3. In traditional society, the elderly had a definite role to play. People were well prepared for the role assigned to them by the family, community, and society. In the changing circumstances, there is a rolelessness situation for the elderly in general and women in specific. Policymakers may take initiatives to create a new suitable role for all sections of the elderly.4. The study will help the policymaker to take some educational policy for training and preparing the elderly women for the new role they are going to play at old age and to change their attitude towards traditional roles they use to play which is not possible in the changing & Dhillon (2006) had conducted a study on ‘understanding adjustment of the retirees with ‘ISO’ retired govt./semi govt. women employees residing in various locations in Delhi of which 50 we(viii) Tentative Chapterisation:Chapter 1: Introduction1. Statement of the problem2. Review of related literature 3. Research question and research objective 4. Conceptual framework5. Methodology 6. Fieldwork experience Chapter 2: Socio-economic background of the respondentsChapter 3: Changing the role and status of the Elderly Women Chapter 4: Emerging Problems of Elderly Women.1. Changing Relationship2. Economic Problems of elderly women3. Physical and Mental-Health Problems of elderly womenChapter 5: Correlates of Good adjustment in Old AgeChapter 6: Elderly Care and Social Security: Searching of New path-ways.Chapter 7: Summary and conclusion