State of old age care in India

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Source-This post on State of Old Age Care has been created based on the article “The elderly are ailing, alone and struggling without the means to support themselves” published in “The Hindu” on 21 June 2024.

UPSC Syllabus-GS Paper-2- Social Justice- Vulnerable Sections of the population.

Context-The study named HelpAge India has revealed that among a cross-section of elders surveyed across India, only 15% had a source of income. Within this group, 24% were men and 7% were women. Additionally, 29% relied on financial support from their children. A significant majority, 79%, used government hospitals for healthcare, while only 31% had health insurance.

What are the issues faced by elderly in India?

1) Health Condition- 54% had two or more non-communicable diseases (NCDs).26% had at least one NCD.20% had no NCDs

Common ailments:

  1. High blood pressure (48%)
  2. Diabetes (43%)
  3. Arthritis/osteoporosis (over 33%)
  4. High cholesterol (19%)

2) Elderly Healthcare and Support Challenges – The study discovered that just 29% of elderly people surveyed had access to social security schemes such as pensions or provident funds. Health insurance coverage was low at 31%. Awareness of exclusive geriatric facilities was limited to only 15% of those surveyed. On average, an outpatient visit cost ₹1,973, with men spending ₹2,110 and women spending ₹1,913 per visit.

Read more- Care for elderly population in India

3) Problems faced by caregivers- Caregivers for the elderly also face challenges. Around 29% said there were physical challenges while providing care. They also faced financial challenges, with only 7% of those surveyed being part of any social organization. Participation in these organizations varied by gender, with more men than women involved, and also varied based on their place of residence and socio-economic status.

Question for practice

What are the issues faced by elderly in India?

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