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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - International Journal of Medicine and Public Health
Title Providing Services for Elderly in Rural India - Is Anganwadi Centres a feasible option?
Volume 6
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 57-58
URL http://www.ijmedph.org/sites/default/files/10.5530ijmedph.2016.2.1_0.pdf
The proportion of elderly defined as those above 60
years of age in India is increasing; from 7.4% of the
overall population in 2011 it is expected to be over
10% in 2021, a projected increase from 76 million
to approximately 140 million.1 Old age is the period
of life when the physical ability wanes and morbidities
are on a rise, therefore considered a vulnerable
population. But the elderly have not received enough
attention till a policy “The National Policy on Older
Persons (NPOP)” was announced by the government
in 1999 and a programme, the National Programme
for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE)
was launched in 2010-11. The National Policy on
Senior Citizens 2011 rightly recognizes the most
vulnerable among the elderly that is the rural poor
and the women.2
In India, three-fourths of elderly
are in the rural areas, the percentage share being 7.6
in rural compared to 7.2 in urban as per the NSSO
Poverty too is more acute a problem for
rural elderly than the urban. Most of India’s poor
are in rural areas3
and so also the elderly. The oldage-dependency
ratio is 14% (2001) in rural areas
whereas it is between 8 to 10% in urban areas.1
poor families in rural areas are barely able to meet
their daily subsistence and therefore have no savings
for their old age.2
Poverty disproportionately affects
the rural elderly women. Women outlive their male
partners, life expectancy at birth being 64.2 years for
females and 62.6 for males. At age 60, women have
an average of 18.9 years more of life compared to 16.7
for men. Living longer with lesser employment, the
female old-age dependency ratio is higher (13.8%)
than males (12.5%), which is of serious concern
given the fact that the proportion of female elderly of
the total population is increasingly steeply compared
to the male elderly.

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