Elderly Issues

India already has the second largest elderly population in the world. Indians above the age of 60 increased 35 % from 2001 to 2011. India’s age dependency ratio also increased from 10.9% in 2001 to 14.2% in 2011.

Factors responsible – reduction in mortality due to economic well-being, better health care system, good medicines & reduction in fertility

Elderly Issues 

  • Less than 1% of elderly population in India has health insurance despite requiring psychiatric or psychological intervention frequently

Elderly Issues

  • Supply shortfall in affordable senior care homes & elder friendly Infrastructure like elderly recreation homes
  • Lack of social security and pensions for majority of elderly population viz. 65 % of elderly in India are dependent on others for their financial requirements.
  • Migration and displacement for work by the youth from rural to urban areas increases solitary elderly population i.e. 71 % elderly reside in villages while 29 % reside in cities
  • The care of older persons in the families gets increasingly difficult in wake of increasing nuclear families & economic aspirations
  • Data on elderly living in a region is not available thus hindering any disaster management activities related to elderly. For eg. Chennai disaster
  • Government projections suggest occurring of feminization of elderly population, with 51% of the total likely to be women by 2016.

 

There is a lack of awareness about the prevalent schemes and programmes among the elderlies. Programmes are plagued with leakage and inability in identifying right beneficiaries.

Government Policies

  • Social security is the concurrent responsibility of the central and state governments
  • Well-being of senior citizens – Article 41 of Indian constitution
  • National Old Age Pension Scheme
  • National Programme for Healthcare for Elderly, 2010
  • Draft National Policy on Senior Citizen, 2011

 

The foremost step that requires urgent attention is to sensitize people, especially the younger generation, towards the needs of our elderly population

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