Delhi’s elderly worried about finances, health: report

June 3rd, 2008 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) Notwithstanding growing incidences of murder and loot targeting the elderly in the city, it is financial insecurity and health problems that worry the elderly citizens more, says a study released by HelpAge India. According to the research done by TNS on the elderly who live alone in Delhi, 34 percent feel insecure because of financial crunch and 56 percent feel so because of health risks.

“Robbery and murder that threaten immediate survival are not seen as risks as such. This could be one of the reasons for the nil percent of elderly feeling insecure because of such incidents,” said Rajeshwar Devarakonda, head, social protection and emergencies, of HelpAge India.

Overall, 59 percent of the aged living alone in Delhi feel insecure on various grounds.

Devarakonda said they have asked TNS to clarify the data that the elderly were not worried about the murders and loot.

“TNS is one of the best in market research. But we have asked them to clarify the data,” Devarakonda told IANS after the release of the report.

He, however, said that one of the explanations for the data could be that shortage of money or health problems are seen more as risks among the elderly than other factors.

The report, which scans the living conditions and challenges faced by the elderly, is a result of a research conducted in four metros - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata - besides four non-metros, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Bhubaneshwar (Orissa) and Ahmedabad (Gujarat).

The study found that more than 50 percent of the elderly feel insecure because of economic and health reasons, which becomes more pronounced among the lower socio- economic strata of society.

One of the highlights of the report, which surprised many, is that 87 percent of the elderly don’t have any health insurance.

“In essence, 92 percent of the elderly either don’t have any health insurance of any kind or feel it is inadequate,” the report said.

It says, 62 percent of the aged are dependent on their children financially. Only 32 percent avail pensions or support of any kind.

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