Limited access to healthcare key problems for seniors during COVID-19: Survey

The survey was conducted across urban India, with a focus on the North (Delhi-NCR & Jaipur), the West (Mumbai & Pune), and the South (Bengaluru & Hyderabad)

Antara has released the findings from the second edition of its survey titled ‘State of Seniors’. The survey attempts to bring out insights on the lives, aspirations, preferences, opinions, and consumer behaviour traits of seniors in India.

The survey was conducted across urban India, with a focus on the North (Delhi-NCR & Jaipur), the West (Mumbai & Pune), and the South (Bengaluru & Hyderabad), with a random sampling methodology covering over 2,100 seniors aged 60 and above. The research was conducted in collaboration with Aeon Insights Market Research, a leading research and consulting firm, over a period of two and a half months from March to May end.

Commenting on the survey findings, Rajit Mehta, MD and CEO, Antara said: “The study focuses on understanding the challenges and needs of India’s urban seniors. Today, the seniors in India have evolving needs and aspirations. They want to be active contributors to the economy, lead a life with dignity, and become more independent. Further, the pandemic has brought about notable shifts in their living patterns and preferences, consumption of technology, along with rise in mental health concerns. The survey will help in gauging the needs and demands of our seniors, and understand the evolution in their choices, concerns, and aspirations.”

Key highlights:

70 per cent respondents didn’t have access to proper healthcare: During COVID, 70 per cent seniors didn’t have access to proper healthcare and more than 57 per cent seniors faced mental health issues. This number (81 per cent) was the highest in seniors from Mumbai followed by Bengaluru (70 per cent), Pune (70 per cent), Delhi (64 per cent) and Jaipur (51 per cent). Hyderabad was an exception with 94 per cent of seniors did not face any mental health issue. While fear of getting infected rose to 65 per cent, 58 per cent seniors were scared of social isolation as a result of strict guidelines. Voted by 53 per cent, ill preparedness to fight COVID-19 was one of the top concerns by the elderly.

Avoiding serious ailments, maintaining health are key concerns for seniors: After witnessing the tumultuous second wave, the topmost concern among seniors is how to avoid serious ailments and maintain health, with 50 per cent of them voting for it. About 72 per cent of seniors opted for a self-monitored, balanced diet and 55 per cent relied on home remedies instead of seeking professional medical help. As per the State of Seniors Survey 2020, most seniors were monitoring and taking care of their health through regular physical activity (57 per cent), which has now reduced to only 22 per cent.

Seniors welcomed the idea of independent assisted living facilities: An ageing population in India, along with a growing middle class and enhanced life expectancy, is expected to boost the demand for allied health care services in India. This is expected to gravitate towards wellness and preventive services. As per our survey, the majority of the respondents welcomed the idea of an independent assisted living facility. 64 per cent of the respondents like the idea of such a facility, of which 44 per cent of them said they would choose one because it would allow them to live with like-minded people and 24 per cent believed opting for such a facility will ensure that their healthcare needs are covered. It was noted that non-awareness of such existing facilities (37 per cent) and the concept being a novel one less information (30 per cent) are the key hindrances to availing them.



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