India and its neighbouring countries have a remarkable demographic reality. They are young and ageing societies at the same time. India with a high population of older persons in absolute numbers stands out in the Asian region and also in the world as the largest ageing society, being second only to China. These Indian Region countries are being affected simultaneously with changing socioeconomic structure and wider processes of social change, such as migration, urbanization, globalization, and technological advancements which are creating constraints on quality of life issues of older persons whose numbers are rapidly increasing and, in some countries, faster than that of the general population. In the next couple of decades, some of these countries would have the proportion of older persons equal to that of younger persons. This is set to change the dynamics of society and will have many implications for the quality of life of older people. Viewed from different perspectives of public health, social, gender, legal, and from a rights-based approach the developments in the region seen in the global context reveal a lot about the emerging aging scenario to which experts involved with this field must pay attention. Questions about health and social care, empowerment issues, mental health wellbeing, and civil society responses along with government initiatives to provide a better life to older persons are becoming pertinent. It is imperative that countries in the region plan for their rapidly rising ageing populations in an unprecedented way in this century and bring out programs and services which meet their vast heterogeneous and growing needs in changing socioeconomic environments.
Sessions held during the first day:
‘Socio-demographic challenges & Policy Response’ by Dr. Mala Kapur Shankardass, Sociologist and Gerontologist, Associate Professor, Maitreyi College, South Campus, University of Delhi, India
‘Gender issues and empowerment strategies’ by Kiran Puri, Historian, Cultural, and Ageing studies Specialist, Director, Development, Welfare, and Research Foundation, New Delhi
‘The growing field of medical gerontology: Indian, Regional and Global Context’ by Dr. Ashish Goel, Geriatrician; Fulbright Fellow, MPH’ 2017, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School, Associate Professor (Medicine), University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, India, Visiting Professor, University of Respati Yogyakarta, Indonesia.