Vol. 2, Issue 5 (2017)
Geriatric health in India: Concerns and Solutions
Author(s): Madhusudan Singh
Abstract: India is going through the demographic transition. According to 1991 census, the population of the elderly in India was 57 million as compared with 20 million in 1951. The sudden increment in the population of elderly persons between 1991 and 2001 has been noticed and it has been predicted that by the year 2050, the number of elderly people would rise to about 324 million. The country will acquired the label of “an ageing nation” with 7.7% of its population being more than 60 years old. The demographic transition is attributed to the decreasing fertility and mortality rates. These reasons may be due to the availability of better health care services. It has been noticed that the reduction in mortality is higher as compared with fertility. There has been a sharp decline in the crude death rate from 28.5 during 1951–1961 to 8.4 in 1996. Over the past decades, India's health program and policies have been focusing on population stabilization, maternal and child health, and disease control. However, the recent researches on the elderly in India gives a prelude to a new set of medical, social, and economic problems that could arise if a timely initiative in this direction is not taken by the program managers and policy makers. There is a need to focus on the medical and socio-economic problems that are being experienced by the elderly people in India, and strategies for bringing about an improvement in their quality of life also need to be explored.