World Senior Citizen Day 2019: Agewell Foundation survey reveals how financial freedom can be brought to the elderly
World Senior Citizen Day 2019: There is a need for initiating dedicated fund for 60+ population that provides exclusive safety and financial security.
World Senior Citizen Day 2019: On account of increasing life expectancy leading to an increase in the elderly population, trends in issues related to the aged have changed in recent years. This includes traditional social security schemes like old age pension. Senior Citizens are now demanding for dedicated Funds, Schemes and provisions for their welfare and empowerment in old age. Through one-on-one interaction with 1500 senior citizens across 15 major Indian cities, Agewell Foundation has compiled some emerging trends of issues concerning older persons on the occasion of World Senior Citizens Day falling on August 21st.
Highlighting the issues concerning older persons Himanshu Rath, Chairman, Agewell Foundation said, "We believe timely and appropriate provisions would certainly empower millions of older persons and will help in creating an older person's friendly environment in India."
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During the interactions, retired senior citizens raised unique issues like initiating dedicated fund for senior citizens at the national level, exclusive safety and security measures for the aged, research and advocacy for issues concerning old people, Self-Employment Schemes for the retired people and dedicated healthcare insurance for elderly, etc. A brief analysis of data/feedback received by Agewell volunteers is as under;
1] During the interactions, 71 per cent of the Senior citizen respondents emphasized that there must be dedicated funds for the senior citizens at national level which can support older persons friendly projects i.e. Old Age Housing schemes, Old Age Trauma Centres, Old Age Mobile Medicare services, Old Age Recreation Clubs, Old Age Pilgrimage, etc;
2] 67 per cent Senior citizens reportedly said that setting up of a legal framework, exclusively to look after safety and security issues of senior citizens is need of the hour. It will play an important role in dealing with the violation of human rights of older persons and various forms of elder abuse at all levels;
3] 59 per cent senior citizens interacted by volunteers said that government must establish an apex healthcare body at national level which will ensure providing medical facilities to senior citizens and encourage research activities in the field of gerontology;
4] 56 per cent senior citizens (primarily from the age group of 60-70 years) said that government must launch self-Employment schemes for the retired senior citizens at a larger scale to offer them gainful engagement opportunities in old age. They claimed that this initiative will also help in creating jobs for unemployed youths; and
5] Further, 55% senior citizens also advocated for extending Health Insurance benefits to more senior citizens, so that they can be offered extended life cover under various health insurance schemes to older persons and provisions for covering older persons (at least up to the age of 75 years) could be made in Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDA).