25% elderly population depressed'
TNN Feb 12, 2012, 03.31AM IST
NEW DELHI: One in every four among India's elderly population is depressed, and one in three suffers from arthritis, while one in five cannot hear.
While one in three suffers from hypertension in rural India and one in two in urban areas, almost half have poor vision. Around one in 10 experiences a fall that results in fracture, while two in five are anemic.
One in 10 in rural India and two in five in urban areas suffer from diabetes, with nearly 31% suffering from bowel disorders.
With the Union health ministry's "Health Problems in the Elderly" estimates not painting a pretty picture, allocation to take care of the country's rocketing geriatric population could see a 300% jump in the next Plan.
According to the report of the Union health ministry's working group on non-communicable disease burden for the 12th five-year Plan, while in the 11th Plan Rs 1, 000 crore was allocated to take care of the senior citizens, Rs 3,147 crore will be required to upscale the programme over the next five years.
Ministry estimates say the number of people in the 60-plus age group in India will increase to 100 million in 2013, and 198 million in 2030.
The elderly population will increase to 12% of the total population by 2025, 10% of whom would be bedridden, requiring utmost care. The ministry's revised National Programme for the Healthcare of the Elderly (NPHCE) expects to have 20 institutions with capacity to produce 40 post-graduates in MD in geriatric medicine per year, additional 6,400 beds in district hospitals and 1,000 beds in medical colleges for the elderly by 2017.
It also envisages geriatric clinics in OPD and physiotherapy units in 640 district hospitals with more than 2,000 geriatric clinics in community and primary health centres.
The group has suggested setting up of the National Institute of Aging in New Delhi and Chennai attached to AIIMS and Madras Medical College, respectively.
Under the proposal, 12 additional Regional Geriatric Centres will be developed in Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jharkhand, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Cuttack, Agartala, Bhopal and Patna.
The ministry plans to start a six-month certificate course in geriatric medicine to train service candidates in these colleges. Every medical college will train six candidates at a time, and there will be two sessions each year.
Designed to be preventive, curative and rehabilitative for the elderly, the programme is running in 100 districts of 21 states.
"India will soon become home to the second largest number of older people in the world. The challenges are unique with this population in India. A majority (80%) of them are in the rural areas, making service delivery a challenge, feminization of the elderly population (51% of the elderly population would be women by 2016), increase in the number of the older-old (persons above 80 years) and 30% of the elderly are below poverty line," the internal ministry note said.
The report of the working group says the programme will be extended to 540 more districts over the next five years. Each district will have a 10-bed geriatric ward and a geriatric OPD on a daily basis for care of the elderly.
In the CHCs, geriatric clinic will be set up twice a week, while in the PHC there will be a weekly geriatric clinic. Home-based care will be available for bedridden cases. At the sub-centres, male health workers posted will be trained to make domiciliary visits to the elderly in areas under their jurisdiction. Annual check-up of all the elderly at village level will be organized by PHC/CHC.
"Village health workers will give special attention to the elderly who are bedridden and provide training to the family to look after the disabled. They will arrange suitable callipers and supportive devices and provide them to elderly disabled people to make them ambulatory," the official added.
* India will soon become home to the second largest senior citizens' population in the world
* The 60-plus age group population is likely to rise to 100 million in 2013, and 198 million in 2030
* The elderly population will account for 12% of the total population by 2025, 10% of whom would be bedridden, requiring utmost care
* A majority (80%) of them would be in rural areas, making service delivery a challenge
* 51% of the elderly population would be women by 2016
* According to the 2006 World Population Prospects, the number of Indians aged above 80 will increase more than six times from existing 78 lakh to about 5.14 crore by 2050
* 20% of this category suffers from Alzheimer's
* The number of people over 65 years is expected to quadruple from 6.4 crore in 2005 to 23.9 crore, while those aged 60 and above will rise from 8.4 crore to 33.5 crore by 2055
* WHO says around 4%-6% of elderly people experience some form of maltreatment at home
* Elder maltreatment can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences
* The global population of people aged 60 years and older would more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion in 2025
* Maltreatment of sr citizens is an important public health problem