Nearly two-thirds, or 65.3%, of elderly people in India think that increasing adoption of mobile and technology have impacted their personal interactions with younger kids. 72.5% said people in their generation used to spend more time with elder people in their family.
51% of these respondents said they had health problems that caused difficulty in getting around and doing things by themselves. Joint and body pain (58.1%) is by far the biggest reason that limits mobility in the elderly in India. However, tiredness and forgetfulness, at 8.4% each, did not figure as the second biggest cause! In fact, with 18% reported incidence, urinary incontinence emerged as the second-biggest limiting factor that prevented people above 65 years from moving around freely, more than the combined reported experience of tiredness and forgetfulness. 16.2% elderly said they had to rush to the toilet to pee during day or night most of the times in the last 30 days, while another 31.6% had to take an urgent unexpected leak sometimes. 27.3% elderly spilled urine on their clothes accidentally at least once in the last week, half of whom did so daily. These findings were revealed by the 2022 survey titled Liberty in Life of Older People conducted by Pan Healthcare. The survey recorded responses from 10,000 participants across 10 cities in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Patna, Pune and Ahmedabad.
Mr. Chirag Pan, CEO of PAN Healthcare, the makers of Liberty Adult Pants, says, “National Statistical Office (NSO) and census data show that the elderly population in India is growing at a much faster pace than general population. In fact, it is likely to grow at over 40% in the coming decade, compared to just 8.4% expected growth in overall population. It is imperative that younger members of the family pay more attention to the physical, psychological and social needs of the elderly.” Nearly 12% elderly who participated in the Liberty in Life survey said they do not pursue walking, yoga, exercises, meditation or conscious diet to stay healthy, which makes it even more pressing for the younger population to take out time to support them.
According to the Elderly in India study by NSO, there were nearly 138 million older persons in the country in 2021. This is up from 103.8 million elderly in 2011 according to the Census data. India has 8.6% global elderly population, which is likely to increase to 19% by 2050.
Liberty In Life 2022 survey also showed that 16.2% of the older persons experienced being lonely most of the times, while 36.2% felt lonely sometimes. 19.4% elderly said they felt sad most of the times, while another 42.1% were sad some of the times. 16.8% felt hopeless most of the times, while another 41.6% lost hope at some point.
“With increasing growth in elderly population, incidence of urinary incontinence is also bound to increase. This is a problem that is often accompanied with guilt and shame, where the elderly feel embarrassed to disclose it to their family members. At times, they incorrectly perceive it as a sign of losing self-reliance. Therefore, it has become a social imperative that families spend time with the older people to see if they need any support and are too shy to ask for it. They also need to understand the benefits offered by modern methods to manage urinary incontinence such as adult diaper pants, which can improve quality of life, happiness, feelings of positivity and self-esteem among elders”, added Mr. Chirag Pan.