Think tank highlights measures to meet financial and other needs of the elderly

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Almost 78% of the elderly population in India live without a pension and less than 20% of the elderly population is covered by any health insurance, according to a report released by the government’s public-policy think tank NITI Aayog.

The report titled “Senior Care Reforms in India: Reimagining the Senior Care Paradigm”, also notes that nearly 70% of the elderly are dependent on their families and relatives for everyday maintenance. Nearly 77% of the population between 70 to 80 years of age are financially illiterate.

The report said, “Many older adults may find it difficult to manage everyday living costs. Some mitigate this uncertainty by continuing to work in old age, attempting to borrow money to cover any shortfall, or relying on family members or social assistance where available.”

Priority areas

The report highlights the need to develop a conceptual framework to deliver a comprehensive response to the elderly that addresses the various limitations, including functional mobility and capacities. It also sets out the specific interventions needed in four core areas: Health, Social, Economic/ Financial, and Digital.

In the financial area, the report says that specific actions required to ensure empowerment and inclusion include:

  • Encouraging the private sector to design targeted and comprehensive geriatric health insurance products

  • Reskilling the elderly population

  • Increasing coverage of public funds and infrastructure, and mandatory savings plans for the affording segment

  • A reverse mortgage mechanism to increase liquidity for seniors

  • Tax and GST reforms on senior care products to increase the ease of adoption

  • Protection for the elderly from financial fraud by increasing awareness.



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