Submitted by: Kanan James
In 2012, the estimated total population of India reached approximately 1.22 billion people. Our country currently has the second highest population in the world, second only after China which we will overtake within the next forty years. This means that India’s population is expected to dramatically increase in the next 50 years, with substantial data showing that the number of elderly people will shoot up by more than 360 percent. That is why it is extremely important for society and government to created policies and programs that are centered around aged care.
The Indian society is currently undergoing rapid changes and transformations in terms of demography. The total fertility rate of the country which was 3.5 in 1994 has decreased to 2.6 in 2011. On the other hand, life expectancy has increased to 65 years in 2011 from 59 years in 1991. As a result of improved life expectancy and reduced fertility rates, the demographics of the country is changing, as the number of senior citizens is rising every year.
Besides demographic changes, Indian society is undergoing a lot of social and psychological changes as well. Where earlier, elderly people used to enjoy unconditional respect, power and authority in families, this scenario is gradually changing due to the emergence of nuclear families. So while strong family bonds and cultural practices that revere the aged are still dominate in Indian society, depression ranks as the most prevalent psychiatric illness of the aged. That is why there is a critical need to address issues relating to care and welfare for elderly in a systematic and comprehensive manner.
In many cultures around the world, helping elderly people is a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of the family. It is very common to see more than two generations of a family living together under the same roof. It is only recently that many families have become nuclear in nature and care for elderly has shifted to organizations and retirement homes. While these homes and NGOs are extremely pleasant places to live in especially for poor elderly people, it is still vital to maintain feelings of family support with people in elderly care, because this improves their quality of life substantially. This support could involve anything from helping with household chores to providing simple companionship. Such simple actions on the part of the family/volunteer can go a long way in helping elderly care more compassionate and impactful. Further, many NGOs also provide home support for the elderly which are aimed at providing elderly care to aged people in the comfort and convenience of their homes.
It is important for family members to realize that without regular family visits and attention, old people are more susceptible to fall into depression. A big part of aged care programs is to provide emotional support which in turn can help improve life expectancy. In case you require any help for providing elderly care for your family members, it is a good idea to seek help from your local retirement company or elderly care organizations. Sometimes a simple walk or conversation can help brighten the day for aged people.
An important component of any successful care for elderly program is medical care. This is usually not something that the family members will be able to provide on their own, but will require help from professionals. However, a family members can play an important part in monitoring the health of their loved ones with frequent visits, and be alert enough to notice if something seems wrong. Always remember that early detection of health problems is usually the best way to treat them, and this will help them lead a longer and happier life at all times.
About the Author: Author writes about Aged Care Programs.For more details about Aged Care India and Home Support for the Elderly visit