248256 Aging in India: A conflict between industrialization and changing cultural values

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:42 PM

Yashwant Pathak, PhD , College of Pharmacy, Univeristy of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Rahul Mhaskar, MPH, PhD , Center for Evidence-based Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
India is at crossroads. Industrialization created pressure on the age old value and the family system is facing a conflict between the dwindling values and the challenges posed by the industrialization. In 1950's the Indian population practiced joint family system and aging population was never an issue. But in last two decades due to industrialization the life styles of the society has changed significantly and the houses became smaller and joint families are vanishing rapidly. It is expected that in India, by 2021, 133 million people will be over 60 years, while that number will grow to 301 Millions in 2051. The aging population over 80 years will be 16, 23 and 32 million by end of 2021, 2031 and 2051 respectively in India. These numbers are very concerning to the policy makers and the society. Moreover, gender disparity is increasing population of widows compared to male aging population. This is amplified by lower child mortality rates and higher life span due to availability of superior medical facilities compared to 1950's. This significant change in aging population scenario will create stress on public health and public policies. The society has to prepare itself to address these issues. India does not have any social security systems to aid aging population. The joint family with its cultural values was the social system for aging population. These cultural values are deteriorating and there is need for developing public policies keeping in mind the changes in society happening due to large scale industrialization.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Program planning
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the changing paradigms in cultural values and impact of industrialization on the aging population of India

Keywords: India, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: none

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am actively involved in aging studies and published a book in this area, I am the associate dean for faculty affairs at University of South Florida, college of pharmacy
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.