Industry Analysis: Reviewing the State of Senior Care in India 2018-19

It is time to bid adieu to 2018 and look at what 2019 brings to the table. But before we welcome the new year, let us first take a look at some figures that you should care about.

• 11.5% of the world’s total population is made up of people over the age of 60 years.

• By the year 2050, this populace is expected to grow to 22%, thus outstripping the percentage of people below the age of 15 years.

• If we take a look at the numbers game in India, the population of senior citizens in the country is roughly 130 million today.

• This number is anticipated to be 143 million by 2021, 173 million by 2026, and 300 million by the year 2050.

This effectively means that 30 years from now, seniors would make up 25% of India’s population!

*Statistics borrowed from a study titled Senior Care Industry Report India 2018, by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Ignox Labs.

This rise in numbers on the global demographics front has led to a direct increase in the need and demand for enhanced and amplified senior care services. When we say ‘senior care services’ or ‘elderly care’, we are referring to the specific and unique needs (like daily living assistance and medical requirements) of people over 60 years of age.

Market Drivers Responsible for the Growth of the Senior Care Industry

Seniority believes that despite India’s burgeoning services sector, the senior care subsector hasn’t really taken off the way it has in our western counterparts. Still, in its nascent stages, the clear lack of efforts (planning and execution) on the government’s part has been one of the key reasons why the senior care industry has struggled over the last few decades.

However, all is not lost, since we have several silver linings that point towards a change in the approach and spell good news for senior care in the imminent future. Here’s a look at some compelling factors that have driven this growth in 2018 and will continue to do so in 2019.

1. Population

With an ever-increasing population, India comprises of 130 million senior citizens today and we have already seen the forecasts for the next couple of decades. The soaring rise in the population of people over 60 has led the government and private players to start taking the subject of senior care seriously, by actively investing in care facilities and healthcare services around the country.

2. Increased life expectancy

A steady increase in life expectancy means that seniors will live longer. But that does not necessarily mean that they will live healthy, too. In fact, given the state of the metropolitan areas, the seniors will need additional daily living assistance, healthcare and residential support in the years to come.

3. The pervasiveness of chronic illnesses

The prevalence of lasting illnesses, diseases and physical conditions (like dementia, arthritis, AIDS, diabetes, epilepsy, cardiovascular diseases, etc.) have also driven the industry to improve the quality of healthcare services and expand the network of hospitals, doctors and caregivers across the vast geography of the country.

4. Healthcare technology and assisted living

New technology-led senior care is perhaps the best thing to have happened in the recent past. While healthcare technology was previously only restricted to big hospitals and expensive medical care facilities, the permeation of technology in almost every walk of life has made life easier for seniors. From home monitoring BP devices and pulse oximeters to piston nebulizers and power wheelchairs, companies like Seniority are actively seeking out every possible opportunity to contribute to the wellbeing of the elderly population in India.

5. Costs

While healthcare costs (especially those related to critical illnesses) are quite high and almost unaffordable for most middle-class and lower-class households, the aforementioned point about senior care aids and technologies have made it simpler for individuals and families to manage the prevention and care without shelling out a bomb.

6. Eldercare homes

A plethora of senior living projects have cropped up in different parts of southern and northern India, giving citizens and NRIs the option of moving the senior members of their families to such facilities. Having overcome the cultural aversion and social stigma attached to ‘living in an old-age home’ (to some extent), the Indian populace has come to terms with the idea of late.

7. Home healthcare

Homecare service providers have well and truly managed to tap into customers living in tier-I and tier-II cities in India. If reports are anything to go by, it is believed that home healthcare service providers offer their services at 30% cheaper than traditional hospital settings. Apart from the fact that it becomes easier to avail these services than rushing to the hospital or traveling to the doctor’s clinic for checkups and follow-ups, home care is also a trend that is expected to expand rapidly in the coming years.

The rate at which the population of seniors is increasing in India, we wouldn’t be surprised if 2019 brought about bigger and better changes in the senior care arena. Here’s looking forward to a brighter, healthier and safer future for seniors in India!