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    Need for health insurance policy for millions of bed-ridden senior citizens of India
Like in any other country there are many senior citizens in India who are bed-ridden and dependent on others. Their number is increasing year by year and is going to touch very large numbers by 2025.
Recently a sample of 1,000 bed-ridden senior citizens were surveyed, 600 were from Delhi and 400 from its satellite townships.
It has been found that 4% of the 2.5 million elderly in Delhi/ NCR are bed-ridden and require round-the-clock care. At any given point of time, almost 5% to 6% senior citizens live with the threat of ailments, which may render them bed-ridden.
Approximately 65% of the bed-ridden patients were reported from among the elderly person’s category and these patients face many problems, including non-availability of care-givers, depression and nervousness, lack of cleanliness & hygiene, bedsores and high blood pressure.
It was also found that 86.1% of 1,000 reviewed were affected by physical chronic illness, heart attacks or accidents while 13.9% were suffering from different kinds of mental and psychological problems.
31% bed-ridden patients reported that they needed care-givers urgently or were without any proper care-giver. 38% patients were being taken care of by their spouses, 23% by their family members and 39% by care-givers.
There were more bed-ridden men than women – 67.5% against 32.5%. 66.5% of the patients were confined to bed for a short period (less than 12 months) while 33.5% were long-term patients. 76.5% were partially affected while 23.55 were severely affected.
There is a need for training family members to take care of the bed-ridden patients and help them accept their condition. It is imperative to initiate training programme for affected family members and relatives of bed-ridden patients so that hey can get adequate knowledge and information on how to tale care of persons confined to bed.
The question before us is that these bed ridden patients are not covered by health insurance policy because they are suffering while being at home and they are not in hospital.
We will welcome an innovative product from at least one Insurance company which will take care of such patients –many of them being patient of depression, which is not covered at present.
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