A senior care study released by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) predicts a trebling of the population of senior citizens in India by 2050, with a consequent increase in senior care products and services.
According to Ankur Gupta, joint managing director of Ashiana Housing Ltd who headed the task force, “The senior population in India is supposed to triple by year 2050 from 2011 and longevity will increase from 67.5 in 2015 to 75.9 in 2050. However, despite such staggering demographics, none of our urban infrastructure are built to keep seniors in mind. Public transport, parks, activities for seniors, friendly side walks and age friendly homes or public spaces lack sensitivity to this age cohort. As aging population increases, we will have to spend lot more of our budget in making infrastructure suitable for seniors”.
"As a services subsector, senior care is in its nascent stage in the Indian economy. Despite close to 130 million seniors in India, there is a clear lack of concerted capacity augmentation and policy support for an industry catering to senior needs. A subject like this is of social significance and it is also important to mobilise the latent business opportunity that lies within the sector," says Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.
The study points out that the senior population is the fastest growing segment in the world, with senior citizens outnumbering those below age 15 by 2050. Consequently, the market for senior care products is set to increase from almost $320 billion in 2013 to $436.6 billion by 2018, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate of 6.4 percent, according to a market research report by BCC Research.
The CII study says that India’s elderly population in India is expected to triple from 104 million in 2011 to 300 million in 2050, accounting for 18% of the total population. To put it in perspective, it says, India’s population of 60+ is already equal to the entire population of Mexico and Russia and by 2050 it will be close to the entire population of the United States. In fact, our population of seniors in the 80+ age group will itself be equal to the population of Belgium, Greece, or Cuba at 12 million persons. This is both an opportunity and a huge challenge.
As per the report, detailed demand estimates on latest census updates and other secondary research reveal that the senior housing demand from urban and rural sector is about 2.4 lakh houses and 51,500 houses, of which high income group (HIG) is 60,000, and middle income group (MIG) is 70,000. The growth of supply side in senior living and senior care on the other hand is quite intriguing with most senior living players, who had started 10 years back, expanding to multiple communities. Senior home care on the other hand, have expanded significantly over last five years with over 10 formal players and rapidly expanding base, it added.
The senior living industry currently employs over 4,500 employees outside of the old age homes, and the senior home care industry estimates are over Rs9,180 crore. With seniors expected to become 300 million and 20% of the country's population. The CII is clearly pitching for government interest in developing the potential of this sector; such interest is long overdue.
The CII study provides an important starting point in identifying various areas where the organised sector finds opportunities and business potential.
The reports says there are well defined norms, development control byelaws as well as incentive models for development of senior specific formats, which has not happened in India. It correctly urges that - “As the industry evolves, it is therefore important to have a standard definition of senior care formats, so that there is uniformity in industry language, and policy interventions”.
To prepare for the needs of seniors by 2050, CII has called for a collaborative effort from all stakeholders to work on a nine formats that it has identified. These are…
Independent Living Community: This would include apartment complexes, condominiums, cooperatives and other such retirement communities, offering private residences designed for the independent senior. These types of communities do not provide medical services but instead provide seniors with hassle-free living, with some recreational facilities. A seniors-only housing community could be a standalone facility or a part of a larger housing project as an area, tower or cluster of apartments/homes.
Assisted Living Community: Assisted living offers help with non-medical aspects of daily activities in an atmosphere of separate, private living units. It can be likened to congregate living for residents less able to function independently in all aspects of their daily lives.
Skilled Nursing Facility: Skilled nursing facilities offer the most intensive level of care on the residential care continuum. Skilled nursing facilities are equipped to handle individuals with 24-hour nursing needs, post-operative recuperation, or complex medical care demands, as well as chronically- ill individuals who can no longer live independently. Such facilities may be freestanding or part of a senior community. SNFs may specialize in short-term or acute nursing care, intermediate or long-term skilled nursing care.
Continuing Care Retirement Community: A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) offers seniors a facility that combines housing, services and health care, allowing seniors to enjoy a private residential lifestyle with the opportunity of independence and the assurances of long-term health care. Within the CCRC, there are three types of care available, providing a phased approach to elderly living accommodations:
Independent living, in which the person lives on their own in an apartment or cottage-style housing; Assisted-living offering some level of assistance for residents; and skilled nursing care, for residents whose health is deteriorating
Memory Care Facility: Memory care facilities provide increased levels of care and safety for individuals with Alzheimer's and dementia.
Senior Day Care facility: Day care centers provide stimulation and rehabilitation to elders providing medical care and related procedures.
Home Care: Services provided to seniors within the senior's home addressing clinical and non-clinical support needs including engagement activities, ADL assistance support, housekeeping, home engineering support, nutrition support
PWD Care: These are for senior citizens with Special children like Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down's Syndrome or Spastics. The model takes care of such senior citizens with Special children living in the Senior Care Centre and after the demise of the parents, cares for the Special children until their death
Palliative Care: Palliative care is a multi disciplinary approach to specialized medical and nursing care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress of the terminal diagnosis.
The study of aging:
The emphasis on senior care and its issue is of much complexity, which lacks academic attention. These factors supplement the need for studies and the promotion of the field of gerontology which is the studies of ageing and geriatrics which is medical care for ageing people. The studies on old age care in return would create awareness and sensitize people at large.
That a leading industry association has chosen to dive into the market potential for products and services for senior citizens is bound to focus government attention on this far more than any of the earlier policies that have failed to be implemented. However, it is important that organisations dealing with senior citizens are active participants in the framing rules and policies concerning seniors in order to ensure that they provide security and guaranteed services to people who are not in the age-group where they can fight for their rights.