[Answered] Examine the multifaceted vulnerabilities faced by the elderly population in India and suggest comprehensive measures to address them. (250 words)

Introduction: Brief contextual introduction

Body: Highlight key vulnerabilities faced by the elderly and measures to address the issues.

Conclusion: Way forward

The elderly population in India faces a range of vulnerabilities due to socio-economic, health, and environmental factors. The aging phenomenon in India is marked by significant improvements in longevity alongside declining fertility rates, leading to an increasing elderly population.

Key Vulnerabilities

  • Restrictions in Activities of Daily Living (ADL): As elderly individuals age, their ability to perform ADLs worsens. This trend poses significant challenges to their independence and quality of life.
  • Multi-Morbidity: A high percentage of the elderly population suffers from chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, leading to a substantial burden of disease.
  • Poverty: Economic insecurity is prevalent among the elderly, with many lacking sufficient income to support themselves.
  • Absence of Income: The absence of regular income sources is a critical issue, with many elderly individuals dependent on limited savings or the support of family members.

Comprehensive Measures

  • Economic Measures: Expand pension coverage and adequacy to ensure financial security for the elderly. Provide financial literacy programs to educate the elderly on managing finances and accessing government benefits.
  • Healthcare Improvements: Enhance healthcare infrastructure, especially in rural areas, and establish more geriatric care centers. Expand health insurance coverage under schemes like Ayushman Bharat to include a larger portion of the elderly population. Provide mental health counseling and support services to address issues such as depression and loneliness.
  • Social Support: Establish community centers and day-care facilities that offer social, recreational, and cultural activities for the elderly. Develop support networks involving NGOs, community volunteers, and local bodies to assist elderly individuals, particularly those living alone.
  • Policy and Governance: Strengthen and effectively implement the National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP). Enforce laws against elder abuse and ensure that legal aid is available to elderly individuals.


In the Indian context, the elderly face four primary vulnerabilities in their later years: restrictions in activities of daily living, multi-morbidity, poverty, and lack of income. According to the Longitudinal Ageing Survey of India (LASI, 2017-18), approximately 20% of the elderly population experience each of these challenges. Addressing these issues necessitates a comprehensive approach that incorporates principles of inclusion and the implementation of robust social security measures.

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