New Delhi: National Senior Citizen’s Day today firmed up the resolve to design an ecosystem where senior citizens could live life of dignity and care. With joint family culture speedily falling apart in India, seniors may be in for an age of neglect and hard times in times to come. Lest tsunami of Seniors overwhelm as youngest nation advances in age, it is high time for preparedness to meet the eventuality. The good news is that efforts are on to provide them with life of dignity. Many government bodies and private players are coming up with such solutions and many seniors today are opting for it.
Antara Senior Care celebrated National Senior Citizen’s Day (August 21). On this occasion, the importance of the elderly in our community was underlined. It was stressed that the wealth of knowledge, skill, and experience that senior citizen offer to the next generation and their valuable contribution to our communities deserves recognition. The day gives the families of the elderly, an opportunity to show their love, commitment and gratitude towards them.
The day also inspires all senior citizens to live their lives to the fullest and as independently as possible. There’s a need to raise awareness of older people’s conditions and desires and support them throughout the ageing process, especially with the rising global senior population.According to a study by WHO, between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s senior population will increase from about 11 % to 22 % taking the absolute number to 2 billion. People worldwide are living longer with a shift in distribution towards older age groups which calls for action to cater to the growing demands. Additionally, with the crumbling health infrastructure, COVID-19 acted as an alarm for countries to start shaping their policies and for individuals to become more informed on the required action to bring about a change for this cohort.
Dr Shilpi Kulshreshtha, Consultant Physician and Head of Clinical Operations, Antara commented on the occasion – “Our senior citizens have been the torch-bearers of science, medicine, psychology, civil rights and much more. Their contributions to our society are immense and to recognise their evolving healthcare and lifestyle choices, the young population can be an active voice in breaking the age-old myths. According to the State of Seniors Survey conducted by Antara, in an attempt to understand the preferences and opinions of seniors, it was found that only 16% of seniors still live with their children/grandchildren, indicating a gradual shift in family structures from traditionally joint to smaller families. More and more seniors are hence opting for community living set-ups today. About half of the respondents believe that assisted living programs provide them with a readymade social community as opposed to the timeworn association of old age homes to loneliness and abandonment.”
National Senior Citizen’s Day is to retrospect on our commitment towards the overall well-being of the elderly and give the concerned authorities a moment to reflect on their responsibility to assure happy ageing for seniors without any discrimination. An age-friendly country like India has a rich cultural heritage that needs to be institutionalised and sustained with services and structures to be inclusive of and accessible to seniors with different needs and capacities. The need of the hour is devising specialized 360-degree solutions for seniors that can cater to theirhealthcare, social, emotional, physiological and psychological needs. The good news is many government bodies and private players are coming up with such solutions and many seniors today are opting for it.” said Prof Bejon Kumar Misra, Founder Patient Safety and Access from India
To help seniors live the retired years of life in good health and an environment that supports healthy ageing, private players have come up with senior care solutions or integrated platforms for senior care services, which is the need of the hour. The Indian government has also initiated Longitudinal Ageing Studies across all states to collect data on senior citizens, which will help to establish a range of preventive and health care programmes for the older population. WHO announced 2021-2030 as the decade of healthy ageing which brings together governments, international agencies, professionals, academia, the media, civil society, and the private sector to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live.