Elders in India on the Cusp of Superior Care

NATHEALTH, Aggregator of Best in Healthcare, moves to build Elder Care Ecosystem

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New Delhi: Golden age for burgeoning silver population in India might unfold soon, thanks to a robust initiative of NATHEALTH, Healthcare Federation of India.

NATHEALTH has established Eldercare and Rehabilitation Vertical to focus on serving India’s aging population and creating a friendly ecosystem to cater to impending elder multitude. The initiative entails globally the best model for geriatric care and ropes in US’s expert Genesis Rehabilitation Services for guidelines.

It comes as we are perilously close to a Tsunami of Seniors who would need special continuum of care. Time for gushing over India being the youngest nation in the world is passé. Instead, it is time for soul searching and to seriously think how to tackle the imminent gigantic geriatric populace. A clear indication is emerging that India is greying faster than expected.

UNFPA in its India Ageing report 2017, pointed out that around 12 million elderly people will need assistance with their activities of the daily living by 2020. Add to it the surveys painting deteriorating condition of elderly in India. These projections have raised a very pertinent question for the health sector, Is India prepared to deliver the quality care to the rapidly growing elderly population?

Though a bit belatedly, the NATHEALTH has taken this up in right earnest. Lest India be overwhelmed by the tsunami of elders, NATHEALTH will also impress upon the government to be proactive in tackling the oncoming huge responsibility.

In a media briefing on July 31, Dr. H. Sudarshan Ballal, President, NATHEALTH with other healthcare leaders announced the roadmap of Eldercare Vertical and stressed the urgent need to prepare for confronting the huge responsibility. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was inked between NATHEALTH and Genesis Rehabilitating Services of India.  George Hager, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Member of The Board of Directors for Genesis Healthcare, talked to leader and media through video conferencing and underlined the seriousness of the task ahead. The Vertical will be co-led by Max Antara and Genesis.

NATHEALTH, a collaborative and inclusive healthcare industry consortium, has taken the said initiative to institutionalize, standardize and galvanize elder care in India. In this NATHEALTH will receive seminal leadership support from Genesis Rehabilitation Services India (GRSI), a leading operator of Senior Care and Rehabilitation Services in India and Max Antara Senior Living. NATHEALTH will work with these industry experts to establish a dedicated Senior Living Vertical, which will create comprehensive support systems for elder care.

The leadership of Dr Ballal, also the Chairman, Medical Advisory Board of Manipal Hospitals has raised great hope. Dr Ballal said, ‘The main drivers for elder care are changing demographics, increasing disposable incomes and quest for quality care. A large proportion of problems in the elderly occur due to chronic diseases. Elder care space would prove very effective. However, India needs to have an adequate health infrastructure, partnership and policy framework to push this segment. NATHEALTH’s initiative aims to build comprehensive support systems.’

‘With improvements in healthcare and support facilities, life expectancy is enhanced with more elderly requiring social, psychological, financial and medical support. In such a scenario, elder care is an essential component of people-centred care and the delivery system for healthcare has to evolve to cater to preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative spectrums,’ said Mr. Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Secretary General, NATHEALTH.

‘India is at an inflection point with the joint family system evolving and baby boomers becoming senior citizens,’ said Nanki L. Singh, Chief Executive Officer of GRSI.  ‘GRSI, with our partner Genesis Rehabilitation Services from the United States, is very excited to be in a position to provide world class care to our seniors and enable them to live life to their fullest capabilities. We envision providing senior care verticals with specialized services, including Memory Care and Long Term Care across India.  We are thrilled to partner with NATHEALTH to further our goal of delivering exceptional elder care services to all of India, she added.

Mr Rajit Mehta, CEO& MD of Max Antara Senior Living said, ‘India’s demographics are undergoing a fundamental shift. The ageing population has grown from 7.5% in 2001 to 8.6% in 2011 and may reach ~20% by 2050. This has implications on: how families provide for financial and psychological resources; how governments respond by creating a favourable eco-system to cater to geriatric services; and how corporations approach products and services that cater to this segment.’

‘It’s very heartening to see NATHEALTH embrace this shift proactively by creating a Senior Living vertical,’ continued Mehta.  ‘With healthcare providers, diagnostic companies and medical device organizations already an integral part of NATHEALTH, this integration with Senior Living is both timely and much required.’

An increasing incidence of chronic ailments, low insurance penetration, lack of universal standards of geriatric healthcare services, government attention and a growing elderly population have called for urgent attention to transform the way India provides care to elderly. With the establishment of a Senior Living Vertical under its platform,

NATHEALTH brings in much-needed synergies to the new segment. The initiative aims to set a charter for creating quality services in India for elder care and long term assisted living care as per global standards. This vertical is well aligned with NATHEALTH strategic initiatives to create quality universal healthcare in India by bringing together financing, robust delivery models, digital health, skilling programs and innovation.

According to NATHEALTH – Aarogya Bharat Report, the changing demographics that yield a higher proportion of geriatric individuals in the overall population (11% in 2025) will increase the burden on supply-side infrastructure. With global population trends on elderly citizens projected at 2 billion people by the year 2050 and 300 million (25% of the total population) particularly in India, elder care is set to witness growth in terms of both providers as well as end-users.

NATHEALTH was created with the vision to “be the credible and unified voice in improving access and quality of healthcare.” Leading Healthcare Service Providers, Medical Technology Providers (Devices, Equipment & IT), Diagnostic Service Providers, Health Insurance companies, Health Education Institutions, Medical Journalism companies, Biotech/Lifesciences related companies, Healthcare Publishers, Healthcare Consultants, Home Healthcare companies, PE & VC companies and other stakeholders have come together to build NATHEALTH as a common platform to create the next level of momentum in Indian Healthcare.

Genesis Rehabilitation Services India Pvt Ltd is a Joint venture with Genesis Rehabilitation Services to deliver positive business, operational and clinical outcomes to improve the health of Senior Citizens and rehabilitate them to live life to the fullest possible.

Antara Senior Living is a 100% subsidiary of Max India. It is pioneering the concept of ‘Age in Place’ for people over 55 years of age, by developing Senior Living communities in India. The first Antara community was launched in April 2017 near Dehradun, Uttarakhand with 190 apartments spread over 14 acres of land.

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