By – Dr Karthik Narayan, Managing Director at Athulya Assisted Living
In India, the elderly population has been growing quickly. More people are getting older than ever among the 1.3 billion people. The number of senior citizens (those over 60) is expected to increase by 130% between 2020 and 2050, from the present 139 million to a staggering 320 million.
The growth in the elderly population has led to an increase in elderly abuse as well. More than 15 million elderly Indians live alone, which makes them more vulnerable to abuse, health problems, potential fraud, and even threats of murder. According to the survey of Longitudinal Survey of India (LASI), it has been reported that one in twenty of India’s elderly is subjected to various abuse. Among them, 5% of persons who are 60 years of age or older had been subjected to abuse. 53% of them reported experiencing it infrequently, 14% regularly, and 33% just a few times. We have also noticed that there is an increase in senior loneliness and isolation.
In a state like Tamil Nadu, standing next to Kerala (16.5% of elderly) with the second-highest population (13.6%) of aged people in India, a recent incident has escalated a myriad of questions in the minds of the people. The gut-wrenching incident that took place in Chennai has shaken the senior couples residing alone across the city. The concern about the protection of the aged community has thrown light on the senior care service providers. People have slowly started to realize the importance of sorting the help of service providers for the well-being of the elderly.
We are noticing a spike in senior care service providers in recent times. The market for geriatric care services in India is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 7.0% throughout the forecast period between 2021-2028, according to Coherent Market Insights.
There is also an alarming issue that many of the care providers are not registered with the Government. To end this, Madras High Court mandated that the government make sure that every senior care service provider is registered and that regular information is gathered on the residents as well as the management.
The judges wrote, “The State government must ensure that non-registered homes do not continue to function within the State and must act on any complaint by any person in this regard, after necessary inspection. The State government must maintain a grievance cell for senior citizens while ensuring compliance of the Government Order now being upheld”
One of the well-accredited setups in this field is, Assisted living. The idea of assisted living started taking the air in the West in the early 1980s. However, in India, the concept of assisted living started in the early 2000s. Initially, independent living units were set up. After realising that the elderly wouldn’t be comfortable if they have health deterioration, daily assistance was also included. The elderly can join these communities so that the caretakers can periodically check on them. It also gives them a feeling of trustworthiness and creates a secure network around them. Currently, around 4500 care units are functioning in India.
All over India, only 2% of people are living in assisted living facilities. In busy metropolitan cities like Chennai, and Bengaluru there is a growing demand for senior care service providers. The bulk of older citizens in Karnataka reside in Bengaluru. Around 12 lakh seniors are living in Bengaluru. In Chennai, 8% of the population constitutes the elderly population. 49% of the elderly are dependent on their families. Right from the start of the pandemic, there has been a 50% increase in the admission of the elderly to assisted living facilities.
With the assistance of skilled nursing care, the elderly can manage difficult and long-term medical issues at home. To safely manage serious health difficulties at home, a skilled nurse’s involvement is essential. Injections of recommended anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, pain, and post-surgical medications are managed by the nurses. They assist in managing changes to diet and lifestyle by making insightful recommendations.
Athulya Assisted Living, a pioneer in this setup, focuses on providing a holistic living experience for seniors. Athulya is a unique assisted living community with a senior-friendly infrastructure. The skilled and caring staff behind Athulya works tirelessly to provide a safe, and happy senior living community. We believe that a retired life merely implies that a senior has retired from a chosen profession—not from the joyous and wonderful moments of life. After a rigorous background check, our home healthcare staff is carefully examined and chosen from recognized institutions.
With the help of the Government, a brighter day for the elderly is not far away. It’s in their hands the harmony of the elderly relies upon. Proper schemes which will include the mental and physical well-being of the elderly should be amended. Funding the service care providers and regulating the norms will encourage many of them to enter the senior care field which in turn will benefit the elderly. People think that availing of these services is expensive. However, with an extension of health insurance to home care, transition care will benefit widespread people.
“EVERY LIFE MATTERS”