The Elder+Care Market in India
Edition #21: Caregiving, Caregivers and the Sandwich Generation
|Mahesh Venkateswaran||Apr 24||1|
Thanks for reading! In this newsletter, we will focus on various aspects of the eldercare economy, and in particular, the rise in caregiving triggered by the pandemic.
This newsletter has three sections.
Now, let’s dive in!
Articles from mainstream newspapers and magazines that touch upon the Silver Economy in India, and our short take.
How Eldercare Market Is Evolving In 2021 by Aditya Rangroo & Smita Mehta in The Entrepreneur
Our Take: The (urban) eldercare market has broadly two kinds of customers – older adults and younger family members. Older adults are mostly 55 and above, and depending on their individualized needs, the support sought could be very basic (to support daily living needs) to one that is more holistic, integrated and specialized. Younger members are largely folks that have at least one older adult in the house or family that needs support.
Member subscriptions and custom plans are usually the way such services are offered by companies in this space.
Fixed Plans: Flexible and transparent membership plans that offer a clear rate card and services. Examples are ElderAid in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Kochi, Alserv in Chennai, Emoha Eldercare in Delhi NCR (and pan-India), Anvayaa in Hyderabad (and multiple locations) and Samarth Eldercare in Delhi (and multiple locations). Additional services, where sought, are charged additionally provided they are able to deliver such services in the locations.
Custom Plans: Larger organizations like Portea, Care24, HCAH and Nightingale Eldercare provide toll free numbers to setup consultations as a way to structure more personalized plans given the range of services offered by them is fairly extensive.
The common delivery model is to assign a care manager/service executive to assist with customer needs, and layer it by integrating technology solutions (website, app, etc).
While some of the large organizations have in-house training and employees on roll, most of them use an extended network of care providers (hospitals, labs, grocery chains, etc) and skilled personnel (caregivers, house safety and repair technicians, etc) to deliver care.
Time to Care: Unpaid Care Work in India, Oxfam Report (India Supplement)
Our Take: Care work covers a broad-spectrum (including childcare, eldercare, familycare, etc) and much of it is unpaid or low wage, and exists in informal systems. Given that women are the majority primary caregivers across the care spectrum, there is a disproportional impact on the quality of their lives reinforcing gender inequality in care work. Oxfam’s India-specific supplement captures this reality, and also highlights how time forms a conceptual point of assessing impacts of unpaid care work and stresses the importance of capturing time-use data, which is not part of national statistical systems anymore. You may also refer to these articles for more insights.
The need to care about the care economy, ORF blog
Is caregiving a woman’s job? in Silver Talkies
Why India’s middle-aged are the new sandwich generation? by Chandrika Radhakrishnan in Silver Talkies
Our Take: The article focuses on the sandwich generation, and how middle-aged folks and mostly women are playing a dual role as primary caregivers, managing the needs of the young and the old in their families, in addition to their professional lives. The article highlights the importance of sharing the load of caregiving among other members of the family. You may also read this linked article on caregiver burnout on how continuous caregiving may also result in both physical and emotional strain on the caregivers.
Covid19: Increased demand for 24*7 caregivers by Subhankar Chowdhury in The Telegraph and Atal Vayo Abhyuday Yojana: Government to create pool of caregivers for elderly citizens in New Indian Express
Our Take: As mentioned, in the last newsletter, ageing-in-place services are seeing a fair bit of traction with existing players expanding to new locations and new organizations emerging in non-metropolitan areas, likely attributed to demand for such services due to the impact of the pandemic on elderly. Given rural areas account for over 70% of population over 60, programs by Government and non-profits will continue to fill this gap until business models evolve to cater to this largely underserved populations.
Companies help men get back to work after break by Namrata Singh in Times of India
Our Take: Beyond the clickbaity headline, it captures a more positive development among corporates to recognize the importance of care work through specialized programs. Deutsche Bank’s ‘Return to Work’, UBS India’s ‘Career Comeback Program’ and John Deere’s REAP programs have seen increased participation of women coming back to work after career breaks although the number of men is less than ten across these programs. This re-emphasizes the gender disparity inherent in all sections of society and the need for corporates to do much more to create equal opportunities and career pathways. On a much broader note, India’s female labour workforce participation rate has worryingly dropped over the past decade.
People that influence or drive the Silver Economy, and their journeys.
Bhavana Issar: Breaking barriers for Family Caregivers on the NASDAQ website. Bhavana is the founder of Caregiver Saathi™, a social enterprise that is building a unique model centred around the primary caregiver and the care-receiver/patient. You can read more about her journey and the challeges along the way.
🧨 STARTING BLOCK
Stories of startups, growth plans and new launches/initiatives.
This agetech startup from India wants to be synonymous with ‘khyaal’ or holistic care for the elderly by Tenzin Pema & Shreya Ganguly in Yourstory
SenCiCare a startup for senior citizens now in Rourkela in India CSR Network
🎃 Pill Box
This History of Pill Boxes: https://thehuntmagazine.com/life-style/pill-boxes
While pill boxes today are not on the endangered species list, they are less common for one reason: People tend to forget to take, or forget whether they have already taken, their daily meds. Drug companies were quick to notice this and came up with pill counters and weekly “SMTWTFS” pill schedulers, which are good not only for patients but also for drug companies. A pill not taken is a pill not sold. And no one has ever bothered to make these plastic counters works of art.
Anybody up for a Pill Box Design Challenge?
Thoughts, feedback, questions?
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