Elderly Welfare and Healthcare

DohaThe population of elderly (more than 60 years) was 8.7% as per 2011 Census, and 71% of these are in rural areas. Three-fourth of Indian elderly are financially dependent on their families or others. The trend indicates that the proportion of India’s elderly will increase fast. By 2050 it will be close to 19%, and it is also the year when the annual growth rate of the elderly will surpass our annual growth rate. Around 65% of the elderly are suffering from some or the other chronic disease, and they have huge health care needs. There is the limited reach of the welfare programs for the elderly in rural areas, and beneficiaries are not aware of varies schemes. For the rural elderly, there are many hurdles for access to health. Understanding the major problems faced by the elderly and their challenges in availing various facilities given will help serve them better. There is a need to conduct more studies focusing on this neglected issue. It is crucial to gather evidence which can help in vulnerability reduction of elderly as well as in improvisation of existing interventions for them.