Senior Care Reforms in India

Senior Care Reforms in India


NITI Aayog recently unveiled a position paper titled “Senior Care Reforms in India: Reimagining the Senior Care Paradigm”.

GS-02 (Government policies and interventions)


  • India is experiencing a very high increase in its elderly population, with a declining fertility rate and longer life expectancy surpassing 70 years.
  • Presently, the elderly account for just over 10% of the population, approximately 104 million, and are projected to constitute 19.5% by 2050.
  • This demographic shift has wide-ranging health, social, and economic implications, affecting labor markets, healthcare services, family structures, and consumption patterns.
  • Additionally, the elderly face higher medical expenses, highlighting the need for comprehensive senior care reforms.

Health Challenges:

  • According to the Longitudinal Ageing Study of India (LASI) 2021 report, 75% of the elderly suffer from chronic diseases, and a significant portion faces limitations in daily activities and experiences depressive symptoms.
  • However, only a small fraction has health insurance coverage, exacerbating financial burdens and access to healthcare services.


To address these challenges, the paper suggests several key recommendations:

  • Increase coverage of public funds and infrastructure to support senior care initiatives.
  • Introduce mandatory savings plans for the elderly to ensure financial security.
  • Encourage private sector participation in developing targeted geriatric health insurance products.
  • Enhance digital empowerment and inclusion through improved access to digital devices and literacy programs.
  • Engage the private sector and corporate social responsibility (CSR) avenues to expand coverage and support for senior care initiatives.
  • Furthermore, the paper emphasizes the need for a comprehensive policy framework, infrastructure development, and capacity-building measures to support the health and welfare of the elderly population. It also underscores the importance of preventive healthcare measures, research institutions, legal reforms, and elder-friendly housing reforms to address the multifaceted challenges faced by the elderly.


  • Despite these recommendations, several challenges persist within the senior care system, including the lack of an integrated policy framework, inadequate infrastructure, limited knowledge repositories, and fragmented social support systems.
  • Additionally, rising nuclear family trends further compound the challenges faced by the elderly population.