Home to about 100 million elderly, India is one of the worst countries to grow old in. A first-of-its-kind Global AgeWatch Index that assessed countries on the basis of social and economic well-being of its elderly has ranked India 73rd out of 91 countries way below China (35), Sri Lanka (36) and Brazil (31).
The age index was released by HelpAge International to mark the UN International Day of Older Persons. It compiles data from the UN, World Bank, World Health Organisation and other international agencies.
The age index looked at four key domains – income security, health status, employment and education and enabling environment. And India scored poorly in all the four domains. With poor access to healthcare facilities, India ranked 85th in health status.
Clearly, the country remains very unprepared to take care of its elderly despite the fact that the number of adults aged 65 years and above is set to outnumber children under the age of 5 within the next five years.
The survey states that India’s strong economic performance and its already large and growing population of older people has not yet resulted in widespread income security and access to healthcare in older age. Almost 90% have to continue to work if they have to survive.
Though ranked among the lowest overall, India fared a bit better than neighbouring countries like Nepal (77) and Pakistan (89).
Afghanistan was ranked as the worst place for older people, while Sweden was rated as the best country to grow old in.
“Many countries are facing large scale increases in their ageing population. Policies which support these people to stay healthy, work if they want to, and play a pivotal role in their family and society, are needed alongside pension and care provision. Older people are part of the solution,” said Mark Gorman, director of strategy, HelpAge International.
7. New Zealand
8.West Bank and Gaza