The increase in life expectancy from 60 (1990) to 70 (2019) is set to double share of senior citizens from 8% (2011) to 16% (2040). This presents a challenge to our healthcare policies.
- Waning of infectious diseases and emergence of chronic diseases.
- Age-related disabilities (40%) such as dementia, hearing and vision loss etc.
- Mental health issues (20%) due to loneliness.
- Absence of dedicated ward for elders.
- Higher focus on women and child health and neglect of geriatric care.
- Only 18% of elders covered under insurance programmes.
- Enhance Public Expenditure to provide for Preventive, curative, restorative and rehabilitative services through Tiered geriatric healthcare
- Strengthen Health and Wellness Centres at Village level
- Dedicated wards at district level
- National and regional institutes of Ageing
Focus on Silver Economy
- Geriatric healthcare and products Ex: Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana
- Start-ups: Incentives for developing aged-care products Ex: SAGE Portal.
- IT Sector: Home automation, Telemedicine, Database Management
- Enhance insurance coverage under Ayushman Bharat.
- Increase awareness and early detection of diseases.
The 21st century demography demands a new outlook of aging population as drivers of GDP. Hence, above strategies can lead to win-win situation and help us become $ 5 trillion economy.