Indexing Quality of Life for Elderly

Quality of Life (QoL) is an oft-repeated phrase in conversations around ageing, longevity and elderly, and is also widely adopted across general population in more developed countries. In this edition, we look at a recently launched report focused on India, and other developments in the space.

Report on Index on Quality of Life for Elderly

The literature around Quality of Life (QoL) is quite expansive, and one of the previous Silver Angels essays – Future of Ageing in India – tries to capture the evolution of policymaking both in language and content around this topic, taking cues from the global initiatives and commitments. The recently launched Report on Index on Quality of Life for Elderly by the Institute of Competitiveness could be considered a small yet significant addition to the Government’s thinking around the topic. It adds to the many “Ease of ” indices out there, to inform policymaking at the central-level.

The report itself is over 100 pages but presented in a easily accessible slide format. It identifies 4 major pillars (financial wellbeing, social wellbeing, health system and income security), 8 sub-pillars and 45 indicators to measure quality of life among elderly population in various states. States are classified as aged states and relatively aged states, and ranked accordingly. For example, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Bihar rank highly among the former while Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana rank high on relatively aged states. Chandigarh among UTs and Mizoram among North Eastern states complete the leaderboard. All of these rankings are calculated basis Government data, and for the curious among you, rankings are available from page 45 onwards, and the methodology is provided in the Appendix (page 85).


While not current with the broader thinking around ageing or longevity, it does provide a curbside view of how welfare and social sector programs could be designed/redesigned in the future. On the flip side, the report is an academic exercise, does not provide access to the government data used to arrive at the state-level rankings and uses the conventional approach of 60 years as the cutoff age for elders.


COVID-19 impact: Senior citizens struggle to buy term plans as underwriting gets stringent by M Saraswathy in Moneycontrol

Our Take: This is a legitimate issue for senior citizens, and particularly those with chronic conditions or multiple health issues. While there is no silver bullet yet, many financial advisors are suggesting retirement-linked products over term plans. The impact of age-linked medical costs is rising at alarming levels, and this was elaborated from longevity finance planning and long-term care planning perspectives in two previous essays.

When covid-19 forced Gen Y to deal with parents’ assets by Smitha Verma in Mint Lounge

Our Take: Being an extremely sticky topic and considered taboo in many Indian families, the pandemic has triggered more Indians of all ages to write their wills, be it those in their 40s or wealthy seniors. This article brings up this intergenerational issue to the fore, and talks about the professionalisation of these activities. While many elder-focused companies and financial advisors already provide such services to their customers, one is likely to see specialized platforms, aided by technology, addressing this and many other areas (endlife care protocols, estate planning, charity contributions, funeral planning, custodial arrangements, etc) linked to longevity and mortality.

Assisted living breaking the taboo of old age homes in Chennai by Akshaya Nath in India Today

Our Take: While much has been said and written about assisted living arrangements in the general context of seniors, this article highlights a super critical aspect (quoted below).

“While most of the elderly citizens who come for assisted service are 80 years and above, their children are around 60 years either retired or about to get retired. They will be in a situation where they have to take care of their deteriorating health and of their elderly parents and that is when assisted living comes to their aide.”

Dr K Vasanth, geriatric care specialist


Silver Talkies, a community for 55+, came out with this short and fun video – do check it out!

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