India will have 12 million senior citizens with difficulty in ADLs by 2020, says UNPFA report

 Joe C Mathew   New Delhi     Last Updated: June 19, 2017  | 00:00 IST
India will have 12 million senior citizens with difficulty in ADLs by 2020, says UNPFA report

By 2020, India will have around 12 million elderly persons with difficulty in accomplishing activities of daily living (ADLs), estimates a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report. There will also be a surge of chronic illnesses, the most common among those being arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, heart disease, depression and alzheimer's disease. The "India Ageing Report 2017" released by UNFPA predicts the number to be 17.8 million by 2030 and 37.9 million by 2050.

By 2030, around 12.5 percent of Indian population will be 60 years and older and by 2050 one fifth of the country's population will be aged, thereby ending the demographic dividend it is enjoying today. The report calls for a multipronged strategy to meet the future demand for ADL services and chronic disease management for the country's senior citizens.

Stressing upon the need to start planning for demographic transition, the report discusses multiple vulnerabilities faced by the aged in India, especially in terms of health, income, as well as social and psychological aspects.

The report also highlights the status of elderly women, who are more vulnerable due to a longer life expectancy as compared to their male counterparts. Aged widows with meagre or no income, are especially vulnerable in the absence of a proper social security network. What's more worrying is the fact that 10 percent of them are living alone, and the number has been rising over the past few decades, as evident from the data in the report.
 
Highlights of the India Ageing Report 2017:

     

  1. Status of the Elderly - workforce participation, income security, health status, NCDs, disability, gender concerns, etc. in accessing social welfare services
  2.       Effectiveness of current programmes (IPOP, NPHCE and NSAP) - the programs show a mixed scenario with scope for strengthening
  3.       Government and NGO activities - Analyses elder care services in India by Government and selected NGOs and maps their activities in brief
  4.      Good practices from around the country - case studies: The Elderly SHG; Kudumbashree & Palliative Care (Kerala); an NGO experience in providing dementia care, food security (Tamil Nadu), etc.
  5.      Elderly voices and concerns, and relevant provisions in the national policy
  6.       Estimated demand for elder care services including support needed in activities of daily living (ADL) and dealing with chronic ailments
  7.       Way forward - Policy and programme relevance; Supportive environment; Capacity building of mid-level managers; Health professionals and service providers; and Undertaking essential research in specific aspects of ageing relevant to the national policy


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