One of every two senior citizens in urban India is unhappy with his/her current living conditions and 80% are looking for a better lifestyle that includes more shopping, socialising and holidays, a survey found.
The nationwide survey of 1,900 senior citizens was conducted across 12 cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, by a market research firm over three months last year.
The survey studied four parameters – socio-economic issues, security issues, healthcare needs and lifestyle needs.
More than 80% seniors seek to sustain their lifestyle with age or improve it, as they do not wish to ‘retire’ from a normal, active life, the study found. More senior citizens want to stay young at heart, with 75% respondents saying they wanted to socialise, engage in sports, go on a leisure outing and shop for luxury goods.
The study classified senior citizens as younger seniors (between 51 to 55 years), young old seniors (56 to 60 years) and older seniors (above 60 years).
The study tried to identify the aspirations of India’s fastest growing demographic group. “The research is an eye-opener. It shows that senior years mark the beginning of a new phase in life,” said managing director Sujay Misra of AZ Research, that conducted the study.
The survey also pointed out that younger seniors want a new career while older seniors want to take up new hobbies. According to the research, two out of every three senior citizens own smartphones, three out of every four seniors use the Internet, and one-third said they eat out at least once a week.
“I use an instant messaging application on my smartphone and frequently Skype with my children in Australia, as it is a cheaper and faster way to stay in touch,” said Andheri resident Randip Chopra, 65, who also uses social networking sites. “After my children moved abroad, my wife and I decided it was time for us to live for ourselves,” he added.
“More senior citizens want to get more involved with society. Many are now engaging in leisure activities and are also taking up social work,” said Prakash Borgaonkar, regional director, HelpAge India, an NGO.