ndia’s elderly is turning to professional help to cope with the loneliness and difficulties of old age. They are turning to paid companions, who help with everything from daily chores, like buying groceries, and visiting the doctor..
Are there more opportunities in the services for elderly market?
India’s elderly is turning to professional help to cope with the loneliness and difficulties of old age. They are turning to paid companions, who help with everything from daily chores, like buying groceries, and visiting the doctor, to mundane things, such as reading the newspaper or having a conversation. The visitors charge anywhere between Rs150 ($2.3) for an hour-and-a-half and Rs20,000 ($305) per month for weekly visits.
What are the Stats?
There are about 104 million senior citizens in India. That is 8.65 of the total population. More than 60% of the women become widows after the age of 70. About 113,377 seniors live alone or with a spouse only as per National Sample Survey Office data.
What has Changed and Why?
- There are at least five startups currently operating in India, offering companions service to the elderly.
- This marks a significant evolution in the social norms in Asia’s third-largest economy, where taking care of the elderly has for long been viewed as a duty of the younger family members.
- While many of these senior citizens are cared for by their families, the country’s rapid urbanisation and economic development have made this harder to sustain. Migration in search of jobs have been a major cause for this situation.
- Another major cause is foreign education and travel for work.
With the number of senior citizens in India being large and growing, the industry is yet to discover the opportunities. In this tech-savvy era, apps, medical services, catering, tourism, health, fitness, mental health, virtual companionship etc are just a few industries that may soon begin to explore opportunities in this segment.