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In India, life expectancy is increasing as a result of improved health care facilities and increased dietary awareness. As a result, the number of elderly people is gradually increasing.

Challenges to the Elderly’s Upliftment:

Changing Healthcare Needs: Providing a variety of high-quality, affordable, and accessible health and care services to the aged is a challenge.

India’s poor HAQ score: According to the 2016 Healthcare Access and Quality Index, India (at 41.2) still ranks 145th out of 195 countries, much below the global average of 54 points.

Family neglect, low education levels, socio-cultural beliefs and stigma, low trust in institutionalised health-care services, and other factors exacerbate the situation for the elderly.

Vicious Loop of Health, Economy, and Unproductivity: Their inability to earn a living accelerates the vicious cycle of bad health and exorbitant health costs.

As a result, they are not only monetarily unproductive, but their mental and emotional difficulties are also exacerbated.

Next Steps:

Health Related ‘Elderly-First’ Approach: By October 2021, around 73 percent of the older population had received at least one dose and around 40 percent had been twice vaccinated thanks to the Covid-19 immunisation strategy’s seniors-first approach.

In light of demographic trends, India should rethink its whole health-care programme for the next few decades, focusing on the elderly.

Government’s Role:

India must significantly boost its public health-care spending and heavily invest in the development of well-equipped and staffed medical facilities, as well as home health-care and rehabilitation services.

Old Socio-Economic Inclusion: Similar to nations like Europe, which have small communities dedicated to caring for the elderly and providing them with necessary services, India can create a youth army to assist the elderly in remote locations.

Elderly women, in particular, must be given special attention in the context of socioeconomic upliftment, as women live far longer than males.

Because elderly women have fewer opportunities, they will become more reliant on others, putting their survival at risk.

Conclusion:

The way a really developed country not only nurtures its young, but also cares for its seniors, is proof of its development. Certain necessary efforts must be made to transform elders into a tremendous resource for socio-cultural and economic growth, giving the term “demographic dividend” a new meaning.

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