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NITI Aayog: Report on ‘Senior Care Reforms in India – Reimagining the Senior Care Paradigm: A Position Paper’

Why is it in the news?

  • “NITI Aayog’s ‘Senior Care Reforms in India’ report aims to revolutionize senior care by reimagining the existing paradigm.”

More about the news

  • The report provides an in-depth analysis of the current landscape of senior care services in India.
  • It identifies gaps and challenges within the existing senior care ecosystem.
  • The primary focus is on understanding and addressing the evolving medical and non-medical needs of seniors.

Status of Elderly in India

  • The elderly population in India constitutes approximately 10% of the total population, and this figure is projected to rise significantly to 5% by the year 2050.
  • A staggering 75% of the elderly population suffers from one or more chronic diseases, indicating a pressing need for comprehensive healthcare services.
  • Moreover, a significant portion of the elderly, around 70%, depends on others for everyday maintenance, highlighting the importance of supportive services and care infrastructure.
  • Alarmingly, 78% of the elderly population is devoid of any pension cover, which underscores the economic vulnerability of this demographic.

 Key Challenges and Recommendations highlighted in the Report

Health·       Lack of comprehensive and integrated healthcare services tailored to the specific needs of the elderly.·       Prioritize preventive interventions such as adult immunization to mitigate the burden of chronic diseases.
·       Shortage of trained healthcare professionals specializing in geriatric care.·       Ensure the availability of palliative and long-term healthcare services to improve the quality of life for seniors.
·       Absence of an evidence-backed repository for geriatric diseases knowledge.·       Promote research and development initiatives in geriatric care to address the unique healthcare challenges faced by the elderly population.
Social·       Fragmented and narrow social support systems, exacerbated by changing family structures and dynamics.·       Establish a comprehensive social security system that guarantees financial and social support for seniors.
·       Neglect of the invaluable contributions made by caregivers and care workers in supporting the elderly.·       Foster community-based support networks to combat social isolation and promote a sense of belonging among the elderly.
·       Strengthen assisted living facilities to provide a conducive environment for seniors requiring additional care and assistance.
Economic·       Insufficient financial literacy among the elderly population, hindering effective financial planning for retirement.·       Create opportunities for the utilization of the experience and expertise of seniors through occupational programs and initiatives.
·       Lack of adequate support mechanisms for lifetime financial planning.·       Design specialized health insurance products tailored to the specific needs of the elderly population.
·       Instances of financial abuse and fraud targeting vulnerable seniors.·       Implement measures to enhance financial literacy among seniors and safeguard them against financial exploitation.
Digital·       Limited access to digital goods and services, thereby excluding many seniors from the digital landscape.·       Enhance the ease and safety of digital operations to encourage greater digital adoption among seniors.
·       Inadequate availability of digital training modules catering to the unique needs and preferences of the elderly.·       Develop enabling digital infrastructure that is accessible and user-friendly for seniors.
·       Provide comprehensive digital literacy programs to equip seniors with the necessary skills to navigate the digital world effectively.

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