Neetu Chandra Sharma | Posted by Arpan Rai
New Delhi, October 3, 2016
Despite earnest efforts by the Narendra Modi government to bring about a transition in healthcare facilities with special focus on the elderly, senior citizens in India, it seems, are not getting enough medical facilities.
The government is coming out with a special health insurance for the elderly, but according to a study released by Agewell Foundation, more than 83 percent of them have major problems related to healthcare.
THE 'NUCLEAR FAMILY' FACTOR
The study was conducted on over 15,000 elderly, which found that those with good net worth value are in search of short-term financial planning to earn a better income from their finances. With the nuclear family system getting popular, many older people live alone, and therefore, they want to utilise their net worth value to the maximum throughout their life.
"Unlike the financially weaker section among the elderly, those in a sound financial position do not want to depend on government medical facilities and instead prefer private institutions.
WHAT DO ELDERLY WITH GOOD NET WORTH EXPECT?
Elderly with good net worth value also expect elderly-friendly measures like life insurance and medical insurance, elderly friendly investment plans, pension plans, etc," said the study findings.
The study found that around 65 percent of the elderly undergo financial crisis and are totally dependent on others for their financial requirements.
The rest are financially secure because they have earned, saved or inherited well. While pension is the main source of income for 38 percent elderly respondents, 46.4 percent claimed their net worth value has increased remarkably in old age. More than four-fifth of the respondents said their major problems are related to medical and healthcare, and financial status plays a major role in healthcare conditions.
WHAT DO FINANCIALLY INSECURE ELDERLY EXPECT?
"Financially insecure old people expect social security, free healthcare and subsidies so that they can lead a comfortable and respectable life in old age.
At the same time, older people with sound financial health look forward to risk-free investment schemes so that they can earn good returns to meet financial needs in old age," Agewell Foundation founder-chairman Himanshu Rath said.
"Most of the elderly, particularly in rural areas, suffer from financial problems. It is a major factor responsible for their miserable situation in old age.
With high net worth value, older people have higher purchasing power, but it is the younger family members who often manipulate their decisions," he said.