Demographic Transition in India: Addressing Elderly Care
The demographic shift towards an ageing population in India necessitates a multifaceted approach to ensure dignified elder care.
The Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing and the United Nations Principles for Older Persons set the framework for nations, including India, to develop policies that support an independent and dignified life for the elderly.
The India Ageing Report 2023 highlights India’s specific challenges in this arena, such as the feminisation, ruralisation, and ageing of the aged.
With a significant portion of the elderly being women, who often face greater vulnerabilities, there is an urgent call for gender-sensitive policies. Rural areas are experiencing pronounced ageing, suggesting a ruralisation of this demographic trend. Furthermore, the ageing of the aged indicates a growing segment of the population over 80 years,
intensifying the need for robust support systems.
The LASI 2018 survey reveals stark disparities in employment and income security among the elderly, with many working in the unorganised sector and few receiving pensions.
Innovative programs in Kerala demonstrate proactive measures, yet a broader paradigm shift is required to alter societal perceptions of ageing and cultivate inclusivity.
Efforts must transcend scheme-based interventions, advocating for a societal transformation in viewing ageing positively and creating an ecosystem that respects and integrates the elderly fully into the fabric of society.
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