International Day of Older Persons 2020: Over two billion people will be over 60 years old by 2050 across the world

Vlad Sargu/Twitter
  • By 2050, according to the World Health Organisation, the population of people over 60 years of age is expected to increase to 2 billion.
  • WHO estimates that 80% them will be living in low- and middle-income countries.
  • And, that’s worrisome as older people in low-and middle-income countries are more vulnerable to diseases than other countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put the health and life of elderly people around the world at higher risk than others. More than a million people have died of the virus and doctors have said the mortality rate of elderly people is five times the global average. The situation can become worse as the longevity of life increases in the coming years.

By 2050, according to the World Health Organisation, the population of people over 60 years of age is expected to increase to 2 billion — with 80% of them living in low- and middle-income countries. And, that’s worrisome as older people in low-and middle-income countries are more vulnerable to diseases than other countries.

India — often touted as a young country — is also ageing just like other countries. According to the United Nation, India will see a 20% increase in its elderly population by 2050.

Advertisement

However, the state government has been doing little to improve health care facilities, designed specifically for the elderly.

The rising burden on health infrastructure in India
Between 2017 and 2018, state and union territories in India exhausted less than 7% of the funds given to them under the National Programme for the Healthcare of the Elderly — a national programme dedicated to providing healthcare facilities to senior citizens in the country.

In India, until 2017, about 71% elderly people suffered from a health problem and over 65% were in financial distress. There has been no significant improvement in the living conditions of the elderly in India for over 15 years.
Advertisement


Improvising health care facilities is not the only change that India needs. India will also have to focus on improving policies related to social and income security of elderly people.

The need for focus on social security for the elderly
According to a recent analysis, India’s young population is set to decline by 182 million by 2100 — lowering government’s resources and ultimately hampering economic growth.

Advertisement

With fewer upskilling programmes for elderly people, the shrinking working population will have to bear the burden of health care and social security for the older population. The report suggested introducing policies that can help older people acquire more skills and let them avail flexible employment opportunities.

“Efforts to protect older persons should not overlook the many variations within this category, their incredible resilience and positivity, and the multiple roles they have in society, including as caregivers, volunteers and community leaders. We must see the full diversity of people within the older person category,” UN said.

Unlock 5.0: International flights to remain suspended till October 31
{{}}