Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

In pictures: Elders fear they will suffer alone as the world ages

October 17, 2013

Residents of an old age home participate in celebrations to mark the International Day of Older Persons in Ahmadabad, India. Countries such as China, India, France, Ukraine and Singapore, require adult children to financially support their children. Ajit Solanki / AP
Residents of an old age home participate in celebrations to mark the International Day of Older Persons in Ahmadabad, India. Countries such as China, India, France, Ukraine and Singapore, require adult children to financially support their children. Ajit Solanki / AP
Richard Hardick, 74, United States: "I'm not afraid of getting older. I surf, I fly fish in Alaska, I teach at a high school. I don't have any particular fears. I'm having a great time. I think it's very likely people getting old and having health issues. Diabetes and Alzheimer's. Those I think are the real challenges." Gregory Bull / AP
Richard Hardick, 74, United States:  'I'm not afraid of getting older. I surf, I fly fish in Alaska, I teach at a high school. I don't have any particular fears. I'm having a great time. I think it's very likely people getting old and having health issues. Diabetes and Alzheimer's. Those I think are the real challenges.' Gregory Bull / AP
Elderly people take a nap at a day care centre in Shanghai, China. Nursing homes are not an option for most Chinese. The few nursing homes in China supply only 22 beds for every 1,000 seniors, and most are too expensive for the average family. AP
Elderly people take a nap at a day care centre in Shanghai, China. Nursing homes are not an option for most Chinese. The few nursing homes in China supply only 22 beds for every 1,000 seniors, and most are too expensive for the average family. AP
Pedro Vega Yucra, 80, Peru: "I only have a small house. I have no land to work so I have no money. I live alone because my three children live far away and my wife died years ago. So my biggest fear is that one day I will not have anything to eat or even the energy to work on my own.” Rodrigo Abd / AP
Pedro Vega Yucra, 80, Peru: 'I only have a small house. I have no land to work so I have no money. I live alone because my three children live far away and my wife died years ago. So my biggest fear is that one day I will not have anything to eat or even the energy to work on my own.” Rodrigo Abd / AP
Paul Gresham, 75, Georgia: "I'm not afraid of much but the thing that would upset me most is if someone took away my car. I realise the day is coming as I continue to have birthdays that I won't be able to drive but that's my freedom. Losing that depresses more than anything else I can think of. I think one of the most overlooked problems facing the elderly in this country is abuse from the family. I see it in my neighbourhood.” David Goldman / AP
Paul Gresham, 75, Georgia: 'I'm not afraid of much but the thing that would upset me most is if someone took away my car. I realise the day is coming as I continue to have birthdays that I won't be able to drive but that's my freedom. Losing that depresses more than anything else I can think of. I think one of the most overlooked problems facing the elderly in this country is abuse from the family. I see it in my neighbourhood.” David Goldman / AP
Amadou Mbaye, 74, Senegal: "Since God allowed me to live to 74, I can only thank him. I am really satisfied. I am concerned for the young children, and I am really worried for their future. Life is too expensive, there is too much unemployment, their health is precarious." Rebecca Blackwell / AP
Amadou Mbaye, 74, Senegal: 'Since God allowed me to live to 74, I can only thank him. I am really satisfied. I am concerned for the young children, and I am really worried for their future. Life is too expensive, there is too much unemployment, their health is precarious.' Rebecca Blackwell / AP
Padma Sagaram, 63, Singapore: "I am afraid of illnesses and being financially dependent on others. Growing older, there is a great sense of fear of being alone. I have children, but they have lives too. What about other elderly who have no children? What happens to them?” Wong Maye-E / AP
Padma Sagaram, 63, Singapore: 'I am afraid of illnesses and being financially dependent on others. Growing older, there is a great sense of fear of being alone. I have children, but they have lives too. What about other elderly who have no children? What happens to them?” Wong Maye-E / AP
Juma Abdalla Athanas, 65, Kenya: "We are waiting for the title deeds to our land and the main problem is how are we going to leave it to our sons and grandsons? We have had many problems, every government is lying to us and each government comes and goes and we are still waiting." Ben Curtis / AP
Juma Abdalla Athanas, 65, Kenya: 'We are waiting for the title deeds to our land and the main problem is how are we going to leave it to our sons and grandsons? We have had many problems, every government is lying to us and each government comes and goes and we are still waiting.' Ben Curtis / AP
Ingrid Foerster, 82, Germany: "I am most afraid of losing my mental and physical independence and becoming a nursing case. The biggest problem for the elderly is living a solitary life." Michael Probst / AP
Ingrid Foerster, 82, Germany: 'I am most afraid of losing my mental and physical independence and becoming a nursing case. The biggest problem for the elderly is living a solitary life.'  Michael Probst / AP
Claudio Rodriguez Contreras, 71, Cuba: "Cuban elderly have no biggest fears of old age, as our revolutionary government within its means helps us with minimal requirements - a pension, free medical care, food, home, and keeps us active in society.” Ramon Espinosa / AP
Claudio Rodriguez Contreras, 71, Cuba: 'Cuban elderly have no biggest fears of old age, as our revolutionary government within its means helps us with minimal requirements - a pension, free medical care, food, home, and keeps us active in society.” Ramon Espinosa / AP
Sandra S. Harris, 67, Georgia: "I worry about remembering the past, people and friends and the things I have done and can't recall. I'm having a difficult time realising that I'm getting older and I have a fear of people taking advantage of me. I think a big problem facing the elderly in this country is identity theft. I didn't know anything like this existed until it hit me and it hurt.” David Goldman / AP
Sandra S. Harris, 67, Georgia: 'I worry about remembering the past, people and friends and the things I have done and can't recall. I'm having a difficult time realising that I'm getting older and I have a fear of people taking advantage of me. I think a big problem facing the elderly in this country is identity theft. I didn't know anything like this existed until it hit me and it hurt.” David Goldman / AP
Hamid Mohammed, 65, India: Mohammed, the father of six daughters, three of whom are married, says he is afraid of the misery that may descend on his family if he, the only earning member, loses his job as a rickshaw puller. According to him, the biggest problem for the majority of elderly living in India is the absence of proper shelter as many of them depend on the mercy of their children to look after them. Saurabh Das / AP
Hamid Mohammed, 65, India: Mohammed, the father of six daughters, three of whom are married, says he is afraid of the misery that may descend on his family if he, the only earning member, loses his job as a rickshaw puller. According to him, the biggest problem for the majority of elderly living in India is the absence of proper shelter as many of them depend on the mercy of their children to look after them. Saurabh Das / AP
Nissim Pinto, 79, Israel: "I'm afraid of nothing. I just don't really know how to continue my life as I get older like I used to live for almost the last 80 years. I don't like when young people treat me as an old man when I wait in line at the supermarket or in the pharmacy, they ask me why I'm standing. Times have changed, and life is much more expensive than it used to be 20 years ago.” Oded Bality / AP
Nissim Pinto, 79, Israel: 'I'm afraid of nothing. I just don't really know how to continue my life as I get older like I used to live for almost the last 80 years. I don't like when young people treat me as an old man when I wait in line at the supermarket or in the pharmacy, they ask me why I'm standing. Times have changed, and life is much more expensive than it used to be 20 years ago.” Oded Bality / AP
Mahmoud Hussein, 75, Egypt: "I'm afraid that my children will hurt me, kick me out of my house and I will die alone. The biggest problem facing elderly Egyptians is the lack of health insurance and retirement pay like in civilised countries." Hassan Ammar / AP
Mahmoud Hussein, 75, Egypt: 'I'm afraid that my children will hurt me, kick me out of my house and I will die alone. The biggest problem facing elderly Egyptians is the lack of health insurance and retirement pay like in civilised countries.' Hassan Ammar / AP