August 21, 2021 7:10:46 pm
Rapid advancement in technology has led to a change in people’s approach towards ageing, including the traditional view of retirement. With a focus on ageing positively, senior citizens now want to explore new career avenues, pursue their passions and engage in philanthropic activities, said the The Positive Ageing Report by Columbia Pacific Communities.
Unveiled to mark World Senior Citizen’s Day 2021, observed on August 21, the India’s first-ever report on senior citizens is based on conversations with over 2,000 respondents older than 18 years from five Indian cities — Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune. It gives key insights into the changing aspirations, needs of senior citizens and their view of ageing in the 21st century as compared to the youth.
Mohit Nirula, chief executive officer, Columbia Pacific Communities, said, “Our idea of ‘positive ageing’ is not prescriptive — we are not defining or imposing our idea of ‘ageing’. We only aim to understand different group’s perceptions of the same, what it means, how it will shape their expectations and decision making, and how we can best support them”.
According to the report, more than two out of five respondents aged over 60 said that “life begins at 60; no work, only leisure, there are the best years, after all”. Additionally, nearly 31 per cent of participants believe that it is only after 60 that they would have all the time and the wisdom to achieve their ambitions.
The report also said “people over 60 years currently account for 8 per cent of the Indian population. However, by 2050, the elderly population will almost double to over 319 million. Thus, this calls for an increased focus on reimagining our existing infrastructure and services to support positive ageing and better senior care for the ageing population.”
“Our objective is to create greater peace of mind for the elders through services and programmes where they are allowed to invest their time and energies on things they choose to do rather than those they are obligated to. In order to understand what truly motivates the older generation, we commissioned this research,” Nirula added.
As per the report, more than 25 per cent of respondents over 60 identify themselves with their own passions and interests as compared to 22 per cent of millennials, 18 per cent of Gen-X and 23 per cent of people aged between 46 and 60. Interestingly, women outnumber men in believing that their identity comes from their passions and interests with 30 per cent of women respondents agreeing to the same, as compared to 23 per cent of men respondents. Only 19 per cent of women identify themselves with their career as compared to 31 per cent of men who believe their careers shape their identity.
Technology plays a great role in enabling an independent lifestyle, especially for those aged over 60. Many elders have signed up on social media platforms that allow them to connect virtually. The report findings highlighted that the proportion of women over 60 who spend over four hours daily on social media is 36 per cent, greater than millennial and Gen Z men (22 per cent) and more than double of millennial and Gen Z women (15 per cent).
The report also focused on attention to health as an important parameter. While health and well-being have always been an important part of Indian culture in the form of yoga and Ayurveda, attention to health holds special relevance for people aged over 60, according to the report.
The research found that 71 per cent of respondents over 60 are careful about their diet as compared to only 58 per cent of millennials and Gen Z. Further, 85 per cent of those between 46 and 60 and 79 per cent of respondents over 60 consider daily exercise important as compared to only 69 per cent of millennials and Gen Z.