A survey of more than 10,000 respondents across the Indian subcontinent revealed that 62.1% of the elderly in India do not get proper long-term and palliative care. The study was conducted by Agewell Research and Advocacy Centre.
The study further says that out of the 62.1%, about 52.4% said they lack primary family support.
“According to 64% of elderly respondents, loneliness, marginalization and isolation are the most critical issues faced by bedridden, elderly patients as they cannot visit, meet or interact with their relatives, friends and neighbours,” says Himanshu Rath, founder of Age well Foundation.
Elderly people in India continue to live lives of misery and doldrums in India and face problems like disability, restricted mobility, poverty, lack of awareness on accessing old term care, loneliness and other afflictions. Rapid urbanization has driven the younger generation in the race of economics, widening the gender gap and aggravating the problems of elderly in India.
The report further says that around 73.7% respondents of the survey said that they have to take care of the house to ensure palliative care while about 67.6% of elderly have to perform tasks like babysitting in return for proper care. Moreover, 75%of the respondents have to limit their social interactions as their family members direct them to do so or else their family members avoid providing them with basic food and medicines.
“In India, health insurance coverage is essentially limited to hospitalization. The concept of geriatric care has remained a neglected area of medicine so far in the country,” said Himanshu Rath.
It becomes fundamental to ensure that Healthcare equipment like wheelchairs and relief materials like adult diaper and caregiving services are provided on a regular basis to elderly people, especially those who are bedridden or suffering from acute mobility issues, claims the report.
“Managing home care for the elderly is a massive challenge as multiple service providers- nursing agencies, physiotherapists and medical supplier- are small-scale and unorganized and thus, provide incomplete care,” says Rath emphasizing the importance of primary healthcare methods.