Abuse on Elderly persons in India

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    In News

    • Recently, the Report of Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) was released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
      • As per the recent Report, around 5.2% of senior citizens surveyed reported ill-treatment/abuse.

    Data on the issues faced by the elderly population in India

    • Health:
      • Self-reported health condition:
        • According to the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) 2017-18, there are 24.2 per cent of people aged 60 years and above and 12.1 per cent people aged 45-59 years of age who have claimed poor self-rated health conditions. 
      • Mental Health: 
        • LASI in its previous report has pointed out two domains to understand mental health. One is cognition and the other is depression. 
    • Economic:
      • Currently working: 
        • There are nearly 61.9 per cent of people aged 45-59 years and 35.7 per cent of aged 60 years and above who are currently working. They are mostly engaged in agricultural and allied activities. 
      • Seeking a job: 
        • According to LASI, there are 4.4 per cent of people aged 45-59 years and 1.5 per cent of age 60 years and above, are seeking jobs.
    • Social:
      • Living arrangement: 
        • There is around 5.7 per cent of people aged 60 years and above who live alone. 
      • Perceived life satisfaction with social status: 
        • Life satisfaction among the elderly is less than 50 per cent. Only 43.9 per cent of people aged 60 years and above are satisfied with their own life. 
    • Abuse & Crime:
      • Substance abuse: 
        • Substance abuse increases with an increase in age according to the LASI findings. It is 13.8 per cent for people aged 60 and above in contrast to 10.8 per cent for 45-59 years age.
      • Crimes against senior citizens:
        • As per the NCRB data, As many as 4,264 cases of various crimes against senior citizens were reported in 19 metropolitan cities in 2021

    Government initiatives for the protection of Elderly population in India

    • The National Policy on Older Persons, 1999: 
      • The policy envisages State support to ensure financial and food security, health care, shelter, protection and other needs of older persons to improve quality of their lives.
    • The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act:
      • It was enacted in 2007 to ensure need-based maintenance of parents and senior citizens and their welfare including shelter, healthcare, protection of life and property, against abandonment etc.
    • “National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly”:
      • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is implementing the “National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly”.
    • Atal VayoAbhyudayYojana (AVYAY):
      • The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment is implementing AVYAY for senior citizens.
      • It has the following components for providing different services to senior citizens:
        • RashtriyaVayoshriYojana (RVY):
          • For bringing near normalcy in the bodily functions of those BPL senior citizens who suffer from age-related disabilities/ infirmities, by providing them with free of cost assisted living devices. 
        • Able Citizens for Re-Employment in Dignity (SACRED) Portal:
          • Many senior citizens have experience, time and energy which can be used by the business enterprises looking for stable employees with experience. 
          • The portal allows bringing these people together by virtual matching of preferences.
        • Promoting Silver Economy:
          • To encourage the entrepreneurs to think about the problems of the elderly and come out with innovative solutions, by providing uptoRs. 1 crore as financial assistance in the form of maximum 49% equity participation, through an open invitation on a portal namely Seniorcare Ageing Growth Engine (SAGE).

    Way ahead

    • India is considered a young country. But the United Nations projects that Indians over the age of 60 years will double by 2050, constituting almost 19.6 per cent of the total population.
    • Life expectancy has shown considerable improvement. But if these added years are dominated by declines in physical and mental capacities, the implications for the older population and society will be much more negative.
    • Hence, an integrative approach to align the needs of elderly as well as older adults in programmes and policies is the need of hour.

    Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI)

    • About:
      • The LASI is a full-scale national survey of scientific investigation of the health, economic, and social determinants and consequences of population aging in India. 
      • The LASI is a nationally representative survey over 73,000 older adults age 45 and above across all states and union territories of India. 
    • Function:
      • LASI is envisioned to be conducted every 3 years for the next 25 years. 
      • It is well-positioned to evaluate the effect of changing policies on the behavioural outcomes in India. 
    •  Features unique to India:
      • Additionally, LASI considers the features that are unique to India, including its institutional and cultural characteristics.