The proportion of aged in the total population is rising and based on the projected data, it is expected to increase further, a survey on ageing scenario in Kerala conducted by the 'Centre for Development Studies' here has pointed out. Kerala's total population as per the 2011 census is around 3.36 crore, of which 12.6 per cent are aged above 60 years.
According to the present study, the state's elderly population is growing at a perpetual rate of 2.3 per cent. The growth rate is high among the elderly aged 70 or 80 and above. "If this trend continues uninterrupted, it is expected to cross over the proportion of young and old in between 2021 and 2031, the study, conducted among 7582 households with 10,027 elderly persons spread over 300 localities in Kerala, said.
As the number and proportion of older persons are growing faster than any other age group, there are concerns on the accommodation capacities of society to address challenges associated with these demographic shift. As per the study,females outnumber males among elderly and in the higher age group, the percentage of female elderly is greater. Kerala adds one million elderly every successive year since the census of 1981.
A special feature of Kerala was that persons above 80 years increased by 0.1 million during every census year since 1981 till 2001 and in 2011, it increased to tune of 0.2 million. On their health condition, the report said on the whole, more than one third have a good health status which obviously shifts downwards with increasing age.
A major disability identified among the age group of 80 plus was vision problem and those belong to 60-69 years have shown the highest incidence of diabetes. Besides, more than 50 per cent of all age groups of elderly suffer from high blood pressure.
Nearly 62 per cent elderly felt Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen's Act may be a useful instrument to protect them in old ages by their children. The survey said men in younger age groups are more independent than their female counterparts.
Men are still the main breadwinners, it said. Whether government continues or discontinues 'Aadhar', majority of elderly persons have already taken the card. Among the objectives of the survey by S Irudaya Rjan and U S Mishra was to identify socio-economic, psychological and demographic profile of the elderly and know their living arrangements.