Senior Citizens

Mains Marks Booster     3rd August 2023        
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Issues faced by Senior Citizens

  • Healthcare: Senior citizens often face health-related challenges, including chronic illnesses, limited access to healthcare facilities, high medical expenses, and a lack of specialized geriatric care.
  • Financial Security: Many seniors struggle with financial issues such as inadequate retirement savings, limited income sources, rising living costs, and difficulties in meeting daily expenses.
  • Social Isolation: Senior citizens may experience social isolation and loneliness due to the loss of friends and family members, reduced mobility, limited social interactions, and a lack of community support.
  • Elder Abuse: Senior citizens can be vulnerable to various forms of abuse, including physical, emotional, financial, and neglect. This can occur within families, caregiving settings, or institutional environments.
  • Ageism and Discrimination: Older individuals may face ageism and discrimination in employment, housing, healthcare, and other areas, limiting their opportunities and quality of life.
  • Safety and Security: Senior citizens may be more susceptible to crime, scams, and fraudulent activities. They may also face challenges in accessing transportation, navigating public spaces, and maintaining home safety.
  • Access to Services: Limited access to essential services such as transportation, legal assistance, social support programs, and community resources can pose difficulties for senior citizens.
  • Mental Health: Senior citizens may experience mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, and dementia. Access to mental health services and support is crucial for their well-being.
  • Age-related Discrimination: Older individuals may encounter challenges in accessing employment opportunities, being denied insurance coverage, facing age-related stereotypes, and experiencing unequal treatment.
  • Elderly Caregiving: Many senior citizens require assistance with daily activities and caregiving. Lack of proper support and resources for family caregivers can create significant challenges and burdens.
  • Loss of Independence: Older adults may face loss of independence due to physical frailty or illnesses, which can lead to feelings of frustration and dependency.
  • Lack of Suitable Housing: Access to age-friendly housing that caters to their specific needs, like accessibility features and supportive services, can be a challenge.
  • Mental Health: Older adults are at a higher risk of experiencing mental health issues like depression and anxiety, often underdiagnosed and undertreated in this age group.
  • Neglect of Traditional Roles: In traditional societies, elderly individuals held positions of respect and authority. The erosion of these roles can lead to feelings of worthlessness.
  • Access to Technology: Rapid technological advancements can make it hard for some elderly individuals to keep up, leading to their digital exclusion.

Survey Highlights Economic Dependence and Desire to Work among Elderly in India:

A national survey carried out by the NGO HelpAge India has shown that as many as 47% of elderly people are economically dependent on their families for income and 34% are relied on pensions and cash transfers, while 40% of the surveyed people have expressed the desire to work “as long as possible”, highlighting the need to pay greater attention to social security of senior citizens in the country.


Steps taken for betterment of Senior Citizens


Government Initiatives for Senior Citizens


Integrated Programme of Older persons (IPOP)

Improve elders' quality of life by providing basic needs.

National Social Assistance Programme

Provides social assistance to the destitute.

National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP)

Ensures financial and food security, healthcare, shelter, and other needs of older people.

National Programme for Healthcare of Elderly

Addresses the healthcare needs of elderly individuals based on international commitments.

Vayoshreshtha Samman

Recognizes the work of the elderly in various fields.

Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act

Provides need-based maintenance and welfare for parents and senior citizens.

Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme

Supports elders who are members of families below the poverty line.

Rashtriya Vayosri Yojana

Provides aid to elderly individuals with age-related problems like vision impairment, etc.

PM Vaya Vandana Yojana

Offers social security for senior citizens.

Setting up a helpline for senior citizens/elder line

Establishes a dedicated helpline for senior citizens.

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana

Provides accident insurance coverage for senior citizens.

Atal Pension Yojana

Offers a pension scheme for senior citizens.

Health Insurance for Senior Citizens

Provides health insurance coverage specifically for senior citizens.

Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017

Offers a pension scheme for senior citizens.

Assisted Living Devices to Senior Citizens below Poverty Line

Provides assisted living devices to senior citizens below the poverty line.

Senior Citizens Welfare Fund

A fund dedicated to the welfare and support of senior citizens.

 Conclusion: Due to existing social barriers, socially disadvantaged groups frequently lack the skills and confidence to participate in communal decision-making. As a result, it is critical to especially target underprivileged populations in order to secure their social empowerment and inclusive and sustainable development.

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