SENIOR CITIZENS

The elderly population in India is rapidly rising with those above 60 years of age set to constitute 15% of the population by 2036 (22.7 crore), according to the India Ageing Report-2023 released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). From constituting about 10.5% (14.9 crore) of the population in 2022, the population of senior citizens is likely to increase to 20% in 2050 (34.7 crore), thus throwing up new challenges related to their safety, well-being and health. The report also stressed on the need to focus on policies and programmes to meet the needs of the elderly, especially older…

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The elderly population in India is rapidly rising with those above 60 years of age set to constitute 15% of the population by 2036 (22.7 crore), according to the India Ageing Report-2023 released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). From constituting about 10.5% (14.9 crore) of the population in 2022, the population of senior citizens is likely to increase to 20% in 2050 (34.7 crore), thus throwing up new challenges related to their safety, well-being and health. The report also stressed on the need to focus policies and programmes on the needs of older women since they were estimated…

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Sundaram* and his wife Latha*, senior citizens from Chennai's Ambattur, both over 80 years of age, fell victim to a burglary in broad daylight in November last year.  The couple had only just moved to Ambattur from Thiruvanmiyur a few months before the incident. Their son and daughter live abroad.  On the day of the crime, two women who posed as domestic breeding checkers employed with the Greater Chennai Corporation approached Sundaram's house asking to check their house for points of mosquito breeding if any. Since Sundaram was used to such visits by the Corporation staff in Thiruvanmiyur, he allowed…

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“I had sleepless nights for months, even now when I recall those days, I feel uneasy,” says Neelam Lilaramani, a senior citizen residing in Goregaon - a suburb of Mumbai. Last year, as she was scrolling through her Facebook app, she stumbled upon an advertisement for a dress that she liked. She added her address, checked for payment details, and chose the ‘cash on delivery’ option to avoid any unwanted online scams - and then clicked ‘buy’. A few days later, when the parcel arrived, she wasn't at home. On his third attempt, the delivery person handed the parcel, Neelam…

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The Singh family in Ghaziabad didn’t pay much attention when their 62-year-old father suddenly began to struggle to find the right words or remember the names of friends. He had loved travelling, but he stopped travelling and even avoided meeting friends and relatives. The family put it all down to age-related idiosyncrasy. Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease wasn’t something that crossed their minds at that point. Mr Singh passed away within a span of one year. He had frontotemporal dementia.  “We thought that retirement and COVID lockdown had made him irritated and stress was the culprit,” says Mrs Nath, wife of…

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The notion of retirement is a rather complicated one. On one hand, it is the long-awaited rest after an extensive, tenured career. On the other, it could mark a decrease in cognitive activity which can lead to an array of ailments such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Depression. While a lot of research has gone into the effects of cognitive ageing, very little is being done about how to keep retirees cognitively active. Additionally, with the advent of modern medicine, individual lifespans continue to increase. This creates a sizable segment of retirees who have a lot of free time. And this…

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For the past three years, Seema, a 35-year-old healthy woman has been running all outdoor errands for her family. She lives with her six-year-old son, her 42-year-old wheelchair-ridden husband, and a 70-year-old mother-in-law in a humble middle-income household. After her husband met with a road accident and lost his ability to walk, the family has been increasingly cautious about their outdoor activities.  Seema’s aged mother-in-law and disabled husband almost never leave the house unless a special van is rented. Seema always walks her son to and from the school bus, and at no time is he allowed to walk by…

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“The recession and inflation over the last year and more has broken the middle class and crushed low income groups,” says B.D Sharma, a retired director of public relations with the Himachal Pradesh government.  “Whatever I and my wife, who also retired from a government job, had invested in a Fixed Deposited (FD) scheme,” says Sharma. “The regular interest income from this has dropped by 45 to 50% due to cut in interest rates, but our monthly household budget is up by 120%!” Urban families, especially in towns like Shimla, a hill town known even during pre-pandemic times for its…

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The National Agitation Committee (NAC), a nationwide organization comprising EPS’95  pensioners, went on a  countrywide “One Day Fast” on June 1st to press their demands for the implementation of  a  Supreme Court judgement on Employees' Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS’95) dated October 4th, 2016. The verdict had directed the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to increase the pension amount based on the pensioners’ actual salary. Over 60 lakh members participated all over the country, with five lakh members from Karnataka, including one lakh from Bangalore taking part in the one day fast. The NAC plans to intensify its agitation if the union…

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India is in the throes of the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. Cases are shooting up at alarming rates across the country every day. The crunch of medical resources on one hand, and the cost of treatment especially in critical cases on the other, have left citizens in dire straits. In these circumstances, health insurance and the extent of coverage received under existing policies assumes huge importance. Personal accounts are often not very encouraging. Jayalakshmi Krishnan from Chennai had opted for reimbursement when she was admitted to a private hospital for COVID treatment. "I was at the hospital's general…

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