India had 149 million older adults (10.5 %) in 2022. This figure will grow to 347 million (20.8 %) by 2050 according to projections.
- decadal growth rate of the elderly population of India – 41% • by 2046 it is likely that elderly population will have surpassed the population of children (aged 0 to 15 years) in the country
- More than 40% of the elderly in India are in the poorest wealth quintile • women, on average, had higher life expectancy at the age of 60 and at the 80, when compared to men
- predominance of widowed and highly dependent very old women among people aged 80+
“Poverty is inherently gendered in old age when older women are more likely to be widowed, living alone, with no income and with fewer assets of their own, and fully dependent on family for support,” the report said.
- Increased dependency on kith and kin
- Social isolation and poverty : Breakdown of the joint family system leaves elders devoid of the much needed social support
- Mental health issues : pessimism, nhilism, depression, anxiety, dementia are most common
- Emotional, physical or financial abuse from family members • Many towns and cities in India are not ‘elderly – friendly’ : Lack of infrastructural facilities like ramps, handrails, pavements.
- Limited access to healthcare and financial services : due to lack of awareness and ease of accessibility to these services for the elderly
ADMINISTRATIVE SET UP
- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment : ensures equitable treatment to such sections of society which have suffered social inequalities, exploitation, discrimination and injustice.
- The Social Defence Division of the Ministry : caters to the requirements of Senior Citizens among others
SCHEMES & POLICIES
- Atal Pension Yojana
- AYUSH for senior citizens
- Bhavishya pension tracking system
- PM Vaya Vandana Yojana
- Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana
- National Policy on Senior Citizens 2011
- Proper planning for old age in all aspects such as lifestyle changes, financial savings, physical health, etc.
- Community integrated services for elders to make help available and accessible
- City and town planners should consider elder-friendly designs to improve mobility and reduce dependency.
- Encourage the creation and running of elderly self-help groups and short term care facilities like creches or day-care facilities.
- Implement more inclusive geriatric policy making addressing gaps in all spheres.
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