Rise in mental health issues, limited access to healthcare, dependency on family key problems for seniors during COVID-19, reveals Antara State of Seniors’ Survey
New Delhi, 9 July, 2022:
Antara, an integrated service provider for all senior care needs and a part of the $5-bn Max Group, today, released the findings from the second edition of its survey titled ‘State of Seniors’. The first-of-its-kind survey attempts to bring out insights on the lives, aspirations, preferences, opinions, and consumer behaviour traits of seniors in India.
The findings come at a significant time when India is beginning to experience major demographic shifts with a growing senior population. It is critical to understand that this demographic cohort expects professional and specialised services, in line with their evolving needs, enabling a healthy, happy ageing experience.
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.”
70% respondents didn’t have access to proper healthcare
During COVID, 70% seniors didn’t have access to proper healthcare and more than 57% seniors faced mental health issues. This number (81%) was the highest in seniors from Mumbai followed by Bengaluru (70%), Pune (70%), Delhi (64%) and Jaipur (51%). Hyderabad was an exception with 94% of seniors did not face any mental health issue. While fear of getting infected rose to 65%, 58% seniors were scared of social isolation as a result of strict guidelines. Voted by 53%, 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% of them voting for it. About 72% of seniors opted for a self-monitored, balanced diet and 55% 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%), which has now reduced to only 22%.
Over 59% seniors partially satisfied by Indian Govt’s handling of the pandemic
Commenting on the Indian Government’s management of COVID-19, 59% of the seniors said only some aspects were managed well. About 33% found the self-precautionary measures enlisted by the government inadequate and 8% thought the handling was mismanaged. During the second wave of COVID-19, India not only suffered a great loss of lives but also saw a sharp drop in GDP. In the previous survey, where a significant 32% had applauded the government’s effort, the number fell to 0 this year.
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, majority of the respondents welcomed the idea of an independent assisted living facility. 64% of the respondents like the idea of such a facility, of which 44% of them said they would choose one because it would allow them to live with like-minded people and 24% 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%) and the concept being a novel one less information (30%) are the key hindrances to availing them.
Though seniors like the concept of assisted living, there still are some concerns around it. The biggest issue being lack of awareness and existence of such affordable facilities. Also, the fear of being secluded, especially in lockdown-like situations is another critical area.
As seniors become a larger part of the Indian population, their evolving lifestyle needs offer greater economic opportunity, and India needs to provide tailor-made solutions that cater to their interests. It is essential we understand these needs to appropriately address them. Studies like these can help us understand the new, nuanced senior cohort emerging in India.
Launched in 2013, Antara is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Max India Limited, one of the three listed entities of the Max Group. It is an integrated service provider for all senior care needs, operating two main lines of businesses – Residences for Seniors and Assisted Care Services.
Antara’s first residential community in Dehradun comprises nearly 200 apartments spread across 14 acres of land. In 2020, it launched a new senior living facility in Noida’s Sector-150. With 340 apartments in its first phase of development, it will cater to the social, recreational, educational, wellness, and health-related needs of seniors. It is expected to be ready for possession by 2024.
Antara’s Assisted Care Services include ‘Care Homes’, ‘Care at Home’ and ‘MedCare’ products. This line of business caters to seniors above the age of 55, who need more immersive interventions in their daily lives due to medical or age-related issues. Starting with its first facility in Gurugram, the Care Homes provide long-term care to seniors who require constant medical and nursing supervision, and short-term care services for the recuperation of seniors.
Antara plans to set up a chain of 35-40 Care Homes including Memory Care Homes in the next three years. Its Care at Home services provides well-equipped, medically trained professionals offering care to seniors inside their home’s comfort. The MedCare product services vertical is a one-stop platform for the daily medical equipment needs of seniors.
Recently, Antara conducted a first-of-its-kind survey ‘State of Seniors’. It attempted to understand the elderly population better with a special focus on their aspirations, preferences, challenges and opinions on today’s socio-cultural and economic issues. The study, conducted in North (Delhi-NCR), South (Chennai, Bangalore & Hyderabad) and West (Mumbai & Pune) regions, covered 2,000 middle and upper-class elders aged 55 and above.