George Abraham Kurian, Director, Vitalsource Knowledge Associates Private Ltd., Kerala, India
Elderly Care is a grossly underserved area in India, which is home to one-sixth of the global population. Growth in the elderly population is showing a rising trend both globally and in India. By 2050 the total population of elders is projected to exceed 300 million and is likely to change India’s status as world’s youngest country by 2020 (average age of an Indian is 29 years). Elderly Care becomes more relevant in India as a social security and affordable healthcare of acceptable quality are not accessible to the majority of Indians. Women in rural areas are the most vulnerable class among the elders. Breakdown of the joint family system, preference for nuclear families and trend of many younger Indians to stay far away from parents, poses serious challenges specifically for those elders with lesser financial means and the more aged among the elderly. India while recording very impressive GDP growth over the past few years has been unable to effectively address income inequalities. The economically lesser privileged elders are harder hit due to such income inequalities and the majority find it increasingly difficult to earn a decent livelihood amidst the rise in healthcare costs.
The objective of this article is to:
- present some major issues facing the Elderly,
- its repercussions,
- steps taken to address the issues, and
- suggest possible remedies to effectively manage it.
Though the issues discussed are relevant to Elderly care in a global context, the Article specifically focuses on India and includes a case study of the state of Kerala. It emphasizes the need and highlights opportunities where companies through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can significantly contribute to this burgeoning problem of ageing that may pose major challenges to countries if not suitably addressed.
Keywords: elderly care, corporate social responsibility, Sustainable Development Goals, Millennium Development Goals, joint family system, the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Elderly Citizens Act.
JEL Classification: J14, M14, Q01.
Cite as: Kurian, G. A. (2018). Elderly Care – A Case for the CSR Initiatives. Business Ethics and Leadership, 2(3), 84-93. DOI: 10.21272/bel.2(3).84-93.2018
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