The world is ageing fast. By 2030, there will be more people over 60 than under 10 years of age.
- The world’s population is rapidly ageing: The number of people aged 60 years or older will rise from 900 million to 2 billion between 2015 and 2050 (moving from 12% to 22% of the total global population).
- Ageism can be as pervasive than sexism or racism
- When it comes to health, there is no ‘typical’ older person: Biological ageing is only loosely associated with person age in years. Some 80 year-olds have physical and mental capacities similar to many 20 year-olds
- Health in older age is not random: Besides genetics, it is due to their physical and social environments, and the influence on their opportunities and health behaviour
- Comprehensive public health action will require fundamental shifts in how we think about ageing and health
- Health systems need to be realigned to the needs of older populations
- In the 21st century, all countries need an integrated system of long-term care
- Healthy Ageing involves all levels and sectors of government.
National Provisions Senior Citizens Can Avail As Per Relevance
The government started to include plans, policies and programmes for family-based security system to enable elderly to lead a dignified life since the Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-2002). Since then many initiatives have been taken with regards to:
- The Senior Citizens Act 2063 (2006) defines senior citizens as people 60 years and above, similar to the WHO.
- Besides senior citizens from the Dalit community, those from Karnali Province and single women, senior citizens must be above the age of 70 years to be able to access their allowance.
- Senior citizens allowance has increased to Rs 3000 per month from the fiscal year 2019/2020. Business Age reported that this will come into effect from 17 July 2019.
- The government has started providing Rs 5,000 as monthly livelihood allowance to patients living with kidney failure, cancer and paralysis due to spinal injury.
- The Ministry of
Health (MoH) provides financial relief through the Bipanna
Nagarik Kosh or Poverty Stricken Citizens Treatment Fund, to citizens who
cannot bear the cost of medical treatment for the following eight diseases; 1.
Cardiovascular diseases 2. Cancer 3. Renal failure 4. Alzheimer’s disease 5.
Parkinson’s disease 6. Head and Spinal injury 7. Sickle Cell Anaemia and 8.
Stroke. Any eligible patient can avail this fund for only one disease. The list
of registered hospitals for treatment can be found here http://bit.ly/2Yvc2a Those eligible will receive the following:
- Each patient will be provided NRs. 1,00,000/- as health care expenses including medicines required for disease management
- Free haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis for 1 year, for patients with renal impairment (मृगौला रोगीको उपचार सम्बन्धमा)
- NRs. 2,00,000/- as kidney transplant expense
- NRs. 1,00,000/- in one or more installments as medicine expense for post-transplant management
- NRs. 1,00,000 to purchase medicine post kidney transplant is provided as cash grant. All other subsidies are provided directly through hospitals in Nepal.
- If a required treatment is not available in Nepal, deprived citizens are eligible to receive up to Rs. 1,00,000 in cash for treatment outside Nepal. A proof of the unavailability of the treatment in Nepal and an approval from the Ministry of Health will be required to receive this treatment allowance.
- life-threatening diseases. Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, renal failure, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, head and spinal injury, sickle cell anaemia and stroke are covered under this programme.
Elder Care in Nepal
- Old-age Homes: There is an Old Age Home in the premises of temple Pashupati Nath (Pashupati Bridrashram) for the destitute elders. Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare operates the old-age home that has the capacity for only 230 elderly people. This is the only one shelter for elderly people run by the government which was established in 1976
- There are about 70 organizations registered with the government (GCN 2010) spread all over Nepal. These organizations vary in their organizational status (government, private, NGO, CBO, personal charity), capacity, facilities, and the services they provide. Most of them are charity organizations. About 1,500 elders are living in these old-age homes at present.
- These organizations are providing services to elderly out of the individual’s initiatives. The services are determined with the consent of the individual generosity. The services and care, virtually, do not include aspects that are essential to cater elderly in these Homes.
(Status Report on Elderly People (60+) in Nepal on Health, Nutrition and Social Status Focusing on Research Needs, Govt. of Nepal, 2004)