Written by: Dr. Amit Mishra
“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old you grow old when you stop laughing”
George Bernard Shaw
Aging is universal. It is a unique phenomenon experienced by every human being across various cultures throughout the world. Because of the individual differences in personalities, social support network, and the difference in culture the experience of aging differs widely among individuals. With the advancement in quality of life of Senior citizens, the longevity of Indian citizens is expected to enhance to 75.9 yrs by the year 2050.
According to the latest official figure from Ministry of Statistics, the number of Indians over the age of 60 has hit an all-time high, 10 crores, which is about 8% of the population of India and is expected to reach 32.5 crores by the year 2050 which will be about 25% of the population. According to the recent market research report, the Elderly care market is expected to grow with a CAGR of 8% by the year 2024
The assessment of the quality of life needs analysis of physical, psychological, social, economic and political components of Senior citizens, which is emerging as a major social challenge and has brought elderly healthcare business or Start-ups opportunities for budding Entrepreneurs.
With the recent radical transformations in family’s setup, with the decline or disappearance of the joint family system, which was replaced by the nuclear family system, there has been a significant impact on society in different sectors viz. societal, business and personal, which has created an alarming situation underlining the growing need for elderly care in metros as well as cities. Discourtesy to the parents has grown and crime has crept into families. It’s high time to work for the consolidation of the family system under which a family stays linked with at least five other families.
The term family has its root word from the Latin word “familia” which means “a group of individuals living together having a biological, social and psychological relationship with each other”. The major factor has been the drastic change in the lifestyles like smoking, alcohol intake, improper diet, and lack of exercise as well as environmental and other external factors, some for the better and a few with the negative consequences.
However, the senior citizens referred to as elders, face certain healthcare (like insomnia, dementia, emotional issues) and economic problems as a consequence of this social transformation. This is contemplated in the transformation from the traditional ways of life to modern patterns, which need many compromises and adjustments. One of these involves elderly care centers or old age homes (OAHs).
Can care for aging parents be done in today’s busy life?
Recent advancements made in medical technology have led to enhanced life expectancy, alternatively, with families largely becoming nuclear and children moving across the world, many seniors who may not be very active or mobile, face isolation and caregiving issues.
It is very important to understand that older adults are an invaluable resource of younger generations and change is needed in society’s attitude towards aging.
There are many people who have contributed a lot to society being a teacher, doctor, engineer, businessmen, scientist, etc. They need to be cared and provided the financial and emotional support at this juncture of life.
India spends just 1.2 percent of its GDP on healthcare. With the recent initiative of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi by 2025, the spending on healthcare as a proportion of GDP will rise to 2.5 percent. With the announcement of the Ayushman Bharat National Health Programme in the Budget, promising health coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year, the Government has cleared its objective to focus on healthcare and the need to step up spending on public health.
Bridging the gaps and tackling issues are start-ups business which can be launched to improve the lives of the elderly and of those who take care of them. A bit ahead of the curve, the start-ups for the elderly feel the domain is compelling because it combines two important aspects, one human need, and the other business opportunity.
The aging process is a biological phenomenon which is beyond the bounds of human control. It’s the right time when we should resolve to “rebuild” the Indian family system which is “torn by social change” and make our home heaven by giving respect and recognition to our aging parents because elders are critical for an enduring growth of our society.
The recent trends show high demand for vast resources towards the support, service, care and treatment of the elderly persons in the near future to make the life of elderly adults safe, comfortable and healthier. With the promise to care senior citizens of our society Young entrepreneurs can opt business in this sector by providing home-based healthcare service, social security, and assistance to elders.