With the growing trend of nuclear families, particularly in cities, senior citizens are left out to live alone in the age when they actually need the support of their children.
The number of cases of physical and financial abuse, neglect and even abandonment has increased drastically over the years.
In a country like India, where socio-economic division of the society is so vast and aging population is growing rapidly, it was highly important for our policy makers to address the concerns peculiar to senior citizens.
To address the issue, Indian government in 2007 enacted the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act to ensure need based maintenance for parents and senior citizens.
Under the act, senior citizens who are not able to maintain their selves from their own earning shall be entitled to avail the maintenance from their children.
The maintenance shall include provision for food, clothing, residence, medical attendance and treatment.
The Act extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It also applies to the citizen of India living outside India.
The Act applies to the parents (mother, father, step mother, step father) and senior citizens above the age of 60 years.
Senior citizens can sought maintenance from their children which include son, daughter, grandson, and granddaughter but does not include minor.
In case if a senior citizen does not have children, any relative who is either in possession of the property of the senior citizen or would inherit it shall be responsible for looking after him/her.