Survey finds one-fourth of India's elderly population lives alone
Working on the sample size of 10,000 elderly people, Delhi-based NGO Agewell Foundation found that almost every fourth elderly person or 23.44% of the respondents was living alone in India.
No company for the elderly in India
Nearly half of the elderly living with their spouses
"Almost every second elderly (48.88%) is living with their respective spouse only, while about 26.5% of the elderly are living with their children or other family members," the survey reported.
The condition is worse in Indian urban areas, where the Delhi-based Agewell Foundation found that 25.3% of elderly people were living alone in comparison to 21.38% in rural areas.
Many elderly people like living with their spouses or alone
It was also observed that a larger number of older persons preferred to live alone or with their spouse only. Although they enjoy their independence, the problem for them lies in being "financially dependent" on others.
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Only around 37% elderly are financially independent
"Only 36.81% were financially independent in the autumn of their life," the survey claimed.
On the other hand, 68.24% enjoyed ideological independence, 60.54% psychological independence, 69.54% social independence, and 61.81% physical independence, the survey said.
During the Delhi-based survey, about 88.5% of the elderly people said they needed the healthcare services to ensure their independence in old age.
Urgent need to make elderly financially independent: Agewell Foundation
"There is an urgent need to make every elderly financially-independent in old age, so that they can afford long-term palliative care, whenever they need it," Himanshu Rath, founder of Agewell Foundation, said.
He added that such care must be made at all levels: family, community, and government
Conducted during May and June this year, the survey was spread across 20 states across India.