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A Brief Introduction to the Baby Boomer Segment Introduction to the AARP Public Perceptions and recent issues facing the organization The Indian Cultural.

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Presentation on theme: "A Brief Introduction to the Baby Boomer Segment Introduction to the AARP Public Perceptions and recent issues facing the organization The Indian Cultural."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Brief Introduction to the Baby Boomer Segment Introduction to the AARP Public Perceptions and recent issues facing the organization The Indian Cultural context Contrasting the AARP and HelpAge India

2 A Brief Introduction to the Baby Boomer Segment

3 About Baby Boomers: Born between the years 1946 to 1964. Over 77 million baby boomers alive today Females making up a slightly larger percentage of the population than men (50.8 percent and 49.2 percent respectively). In 2006 the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that baby boomers will turn 60 at the rate of over 7,900 every day and 330 every hour. In 2030 there is projected to be over 57 million baby boomers between the ages of 66 to 84.

4 Stage 1: Imagination 15 - 6 years prior to retirement - Retirement is still years away Very positive views about retirement, although only 44 percent say they are "on track" in terms of preparation. High expectations of adventure (65 percent) and empowerment (53 percent) for retirement. Stage 2: Anticipation 5 years prior to retirement Positive emotions are on the rise However, in the two years prior to retirement, worries and anxiety mount a sense of loss after their working years are over. Triggers for retirement readiness were achieving "financial freedom" (18 percent) or a significant birthday (16 percent). The New Retirement Mindscape : Courtesy: Harris Interactive, a leading market research firm

5 Stage 3: Liberation Retirement Day and one year following Great excitement, relief and enthusiasm “Enjoying retirement a great deal." - 78 percent The feeling of liberation is short-lived as the new reality begins to set in. Stage 4: Reorientation 2-15 years after retirement The joy of retirement has passed Feelings of emptiness (49 percent), worry (38 percent) and boredom (34 percent). An emotional let-down may occur to varying degrees. Four distinct profiles may emerge: - Empowered Reinventors (19 percent), - Carefree Contents (19 percent), - Uncertain Searchers (22 percent) and - - Worried Strugglers (40 percent).

6 Stage 5: Reconciliation 16 or more years after retirement increased contentment, acceptance and personal reflection. Lower levels of depression (5 percent), But some people (22 percent) report feelings of sadness as they confront end-of-life issues.

7 The AARP- an introduction into the organization

8 AARP was included in the 2004 volume of America’s Greatest Brands.

9 AARP is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all as we age. They claim they lead positive social change and deliver value to members through information, advocacy and service. AARP celebrates the attitude that age is just a number and life is what you make it. Provide a host of services to this ever-growing segment of the population by: Informing members and the public on issues Advocating on legislative, consumer and legal issues Promoting community service Offering a wide range of special products and services to members

10 Introducing AARP With over 35 million members, AARP is the leading nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over in the United States. Nearly 12.5 percent of the population are members of the AARP U.S. citizenship is not a requirement for membership; over 40,000 members live outside the United States. People also do not have to be retired to join. In fact, 44 percent of AARP members work part time or full time. The median age of AARP members is 65, and slightly more than half of them are women.


12 History of the Organization AARP founded in 1958 by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, a retired high school principal. primary purpose of selling health insurance to the elderly. AARP evolved from the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA), which Dr. Andrus had established in 1947 to promote her philosophy of productive aging. In 1963, Dr. Andrus established the Association of Retired Persons International (ARPI), with offices in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Washington, D.C. While ARPI disbanded in 1969, AARP has continued to develop networks and form coalitions within the worldwide aging community. In 1994 the organization dropped its name (along with the word retired) in favor of its acronym. Founding principles of the organization: promote independence, dignity and purpose enhance the quality of life encourage older people "To serve, not to be served"

13 Membership benefits: AARP provides a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for their members. These benefits include: AARP Web site AARP The Magazine and the AARP Bulletin Almost 100 message boards Sign up for hundreds of volunteer activities nationwide - VolunteerMatch. Discounts on various travel packages. Sign up for alerts about upcoming votes on congressional legislation and use an online tool to generate and send an e-mail to your congressman about an issue. AARP already offers dozens of services from third parties. e.g. AARP Services is planning to renegotiate a series of 10-year contracts with 5 health insurance providers as three- to five-year deals.

14 AARP Programs AARP Independent Living/Long-Term Care/End- of-Life Issue AARP Driver Safety Program AARP Tax-Aide AARP SCSEP (Senior Community Service Employment Program) Volunteering Member Services and Discounts Automobile and homeowners insurance Life insurance Long-term health care insurance extensive Travel discounts and programs Eye health services Investment program Credit card services Motoring plan Legal services network

15 AARP began targeting younger members by: Going in for an intense image and marketing overhaul Creating a distinction between baby boomers and the aged population Offering relevant products, services and information. For e.g.. an online calculator to help figure out how much to save for retirement. Multiple versions of its magazine for three distinct age groups Invested more heavily in IT A few years ago they revamped their entire website to give it a younger and modern feel. you can access many of the tools and benefits from the website

16 AARP’s Ten year Social Agenda Economic Security Social Security improvements Reduced discriminatory treatment Ensuring employment and benefits Protecting Pensions and retirement savings Protection from financial fraud Access to affordable, quality utility services Health and Supportive Services Medicare is strengthened Prescription drugs are more affordable Access to home and community-based care access to financing sources for services and supports Appropriate quality services are delivered efficiently Stable and affordable health coverage

17 Livable Communities appropriate and affordable housing options sustain mobility as individuals 50+ age (even when driving is not feasible) Individuals retain their driving competencies and competent drivers retain their driving privileges. Navigation—Access to Information have access to needed information and resources provide one stop access to needed information and resources Global Aging AARP is a leading force in international understanding and dialogues around the global aging agenda

18 AARP is a big business According to its most recent financial statement, the organization collected its revenue of $878 million through: $350 million in royalties and other income from the products and services. $93 million came from advertising Only 26 percent came from members. Executive Director and CEO William Novelli has been criticized by some members for taking a $420,000 salary.

19 Some images from their website






25 Counterpoints to the projected image and some Public Perceptions

26 Criticism against the AARP: Membership figures are not realistic As they seek out anyone over the age of 50 and try and add them to their list of members. “Dear Robert J. Samuelson, Our records show that you haven't yet registered for the benefits of AARP membership, even though you are fully eligible.... I look forward to your joining us. Sincerely, William D. Novelli, Executive Director” Massive outlays threaten huge tax increases and other government spending. Both may weaken the economy and the social fabric. AARP expects younger taxpayers to bear most of the burden. Uses Federal dollars to fund its own agenda and influence public policy stirs considerable anger among many taxpayers, and not just those who oppose its politics. AARP was nothing more than an ally of convenience Flip flop in support of the democratic and republican policies. Its leaders do what is best for AARP, rather than for its members. - The reliance on supplier revenue has frequently left the organization open to these charges - In June 2001, Novelli centralized policy making by limiting input from local AARP. - At the same time, Novelli severed the accountability of AARP's board to the membership.

27 Criticism against the AARP: (Cont.) Use of manipulative polls and inaccurate ads needlessly frighten the public about the merits of reform raises serious questions about its tactics. Lot of clout for a private organization Many feel that aside from the president, only AARP can set the terms of debate on federal retirement programs (mainly Social Security, Medicare and long-term care through Medicaid) Not much success with the issue of effective health care Several decades of loud calls for a more efficient and effective health care system haven't yet created one. People who ruffle too many feathers are leaving or are not invited back into leadership roles. In April 1995, an investigation into AARP's finances was launched, including its receipt of government grants.

28 The cultural context of aging in India

29 By the year 2000, India is likely to rank second to China in the absolute numbers of its elderly population The sharp decline in mortality since 1950 and a steady recent decline in fertility has contributed to the process of population aging in India. India currently ranks fourth among the countries of the world with a large elderly population. Owing to changes in kinship and family organization in the wake of urbanization, industrialization and modernization this portion of India’s population is getting attention. The joint family system, which used to provide a form of social security, is disintegrating. Even in the villages where approximately three-fourths of India’s population live and where the process of change has been slow, changes have been taking place which are not favorable to the elderly.



32 POINTS OF REFERENCE FOR THIS SEGEMNT OF THE POPULATION Sex Ratio Unlike the trend in most countries, there are more males than females in the elderly population. The usual sex ratio pattern favoring females occurs at 70 or more years of age in the case of India. Marital status A fairly large proportion of the elderly population is single owing to the death of the marriage partner. The incidence of widowhood is much greater among females than among males owing partly to the comparatively higher expectation of life among the older females and partly due to taboos against remarriage, particularly of females. Literacy Historically, illiteracy was more prevalent among elderly females than elderly males. In 2001 approximately 52 per cent of elderly males and 83 per cent elderly females were illiterate. The majority of the illiterate elderly were engaged either in agricultural pursuits in the rural areas or as unskilled or semiskilled workers in urban areas, many of whom most likely were living from hand to mouth with little or no savings. Since their employment was in the unorganized sectors, they would not be covered by social insurance schemes and thus would be in need of economic support. In the absence of support from their relatives, they would have to look towards the Government for support.

33 Rural vs. Urban Different parts of the county are experiencing varying degrees of socio-economic change. Urban and Rural Environments present contrasting pictures with respect to quality of life at any age. The number of elderly, both in absolute and percentage terms, is larger in the rural areas of India than in urban areas. At the time of the 1981 Census, 80.4 percent of the elderly population lived in rural areas. In 1961, the percentage of elderly males in rural areas was 5.7 percent, while their proportion in urban areas was 4.4 percent. Similarly the proportion of elderly females was greater in rural areas than in the urban areas.

34 The Elderly in Urban India

35 The Elderly in Rural India

36 Working elderly one positive feature concerning the elderly population is that most of those 60 or more years old are economically active, presumably because they are engaged in sectors for which there is no specific age of retirement. Since 1961, there has been a gradual decline in the labor force participation rate among the elderly in rural and urban areas, the decline being steeper among males than females. The majority of elderly workers were engaged in agriculture. Modernization of agriculture in the future (which would require fewer workers than currently) accompanied by increases in the number of young adults seeking employment are factors likely to affect adversely future job opportunities for the elderly. Therefore, planning in respect of future employment opportunities for the elderly is needed urgently before this problem grows to unmanageable proportions. Non-working elderly About 72 per cent of the elderly population were not working in 2001; in absolute numbers, this portion of the population was about a total of about 55 million, 69 per cent of whom were from rural areas and 62.8 per cent of whom were female.

37 Health status of the elderly There were around 27 million elderly people ill at any given point of time in 2001. In addition, 7.4 per cent of the elderly population in rural areas and 7.9 per cent of those in urban areas were suffering from a chronic disease, the incidence being higher among males in rural and urban areas Currently, elderly people avail themselves of general medical and health services; no concerted effort has been made to provide geriatric medical care. However, there is an urgent need for specialists catering for the elderly. Physical Disabilities According to figures from 1981, 10.9 per cent of the elderly population suffered from physical impairments. Approximately half of those affected were visually disabled. The remaining half were suffering from disabilities related to hearing, speech or loco motor functions. The number of aged persons in 2001 who suffered from some type of disability, was about 8.2 million approximately. These people were dependent either on their families or charitable institutions and in the absence of such support, they look to the Government for assistance.

38 Age Composition of the Elderly The age composition of the population of India has been undergoing change; At the turn of this century, the number of persons aged 60 years and over was 12.1 million. Of these, 5.5 million were males and 6.6 million were females. Through 1931, the growth of the Elderly population was steady, but during the 1931-1941 period the number of elderly people rose sharply. Thereafter, especially since 1961, there has been a pronounced increase in the population of elderly persons. Their numbers in 1981, were slightly less than 4 times the number in 1901.

39 SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND THE CULTURAL CONTEXT OF AGING IN INDIA: Reverence to old age in India is expressed in cultural and social practices, such as the obligation to offer prayers to one’s ancestors. In India, the aged prefer to live with their children. The family cares for its aged by providing physical, social, and economic support for the elderly. Sons, consider it their duty to look after their aged parents, and they do not allow them to be sent to old- age homes. The joint family is the basic family type in India, where parents live with one or more of their children. This family system is the predominant household form in rural areas, in the slums and to a certain extent even in the urban areas. But when the elderly do not have family members to take care of them, old-age homes are their last resort. However, the demand for spaces in these homes far exceeds supply. Though the number of nuclear families is growing, they continue to have connections with the central households from which they have separated. Living with children is the preferred living arrangement for the aged.

40 Scenario in Rural India The joint family system is still strong in rural areas. Older members of the family are actively engaged in work until they are incapable of doing so, but as an integral part of the household, they are provided with shelter, food and clothing by the family. In case of a split of the joint family, the old person is taken care of by one son or another. Scenario in Urban India The tradition of caring for elderly family members endures even in urban areas. However, due to urbanization, industrialization and migration, the traditional joint family structure is changing; but mutual exchange between generations is still the rule, and the family is still the source of security for the aged persons. The sons consider it their duty to look after their aged parents and do not allow them to be sent to old- age homes.

41 Traditional Concept of Aging in Indian Culture In Ancient India, lifespan on 100 years was divided into four stages: life as a student, house holder, forest dweller and Ascetic. There was a gradual move from personal, social to spiritual preoccupations with age. When a man’s hair turned gray and wrinkles appeared, he was to give up his life of a householder and turn to ‘vanaprastha’ which literally means ‘moving to the forest’. A mature aging man would gradually give up his worldly pursuits, move away from the mundane routine of the householder and turn inward in search of spiritual growth. In ordinary social intercourse, a person would be considered old when his children were married and he had grandchildren, regardless of his chronological age. Menopause and arrival of grandchildren usually marked old-age for Women. Indian culture, like many other Asian cultures, emphasized filial piety. Parents were to be respected as gods. It was the duty of the son to respect and care for his parents. Living with the eldest son and his family was the most common living arrangement. Indian society is a patriarchal society and after marriage the sons bring their wives to live in the parental household. This tradition ensured old people would have young people around them to take care of them. Also, caste and kin group exerted pressure on the young to respect and take care of their elders.

42 Family and relatives still play an important role in providing economic and social security for the elderly. But most of these studies relate to the middle and higher socioeconomic classes where the elderly own the means of production and have sufficient economic resources not to be affected adversely. Those in the lower levels of the social strata, who constitute the majority, will need social and economic support. The elderly who worked in the organized sectors during their careers have been and are covered by social insurance schemes such as pensions, gratuities, leave encashment and provident fund disbursements made upon their retirement. They cover approximately 11 per cent the population, who are likely to be economically better off compared with those who worked in the unorganized sectors; the latter constitute around 89 per cent of the elderly population. Since most worked in the unorganized sectors, the vast majority of the elderly probably worked for low wages and thus have little or no savings to enable them to meet their old- age needs. The elderly should be considered as human resources and their rich experience and residual capacities should be put to optimum use for the benefit of national development. Their ability to lead healthy and fruitful lives should be ensured by the Government.


44 Social Status of Older Indian in the Current Context: General lowering of social status of the Elderly in India Increasingly perceived as burdens due to disability or dependence Rapid changes in family systems reducing availability of kin support even in rural areas. With Modernization, older values are being replaced by ‘Individualism’. The government has been complacent that the joint- family system and traditional values would provide the social security cover in old age. This view is being drastically revised In non-agrarian societies, older persons who are ‘economically unproductive’ do not have the same authority as they used to enjoy in extended families, where they had greater control over family resources. Efforts are being made to revive the cultural values and reinforce the traditional practice of interdependence amongst generations. It is neither desirable nor affordable to open a large number of Old-age homes in a country like India. Thus reinforcing the existing ‘Familism’ maybe the only feasible option.

45 OLD AGE HOMES: Majority of the aged population shares the homes of their children The remaining aged population of 12,758,610 (30 percent) either have no family or can not live with the family they have. For this group, old-age homes are a necessity. India presently has 356 old-age homes. Most of these homes are secular, and they provide accommodation for the needy aged men and women irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. 258 of these homes have a capacity of only 15,636 spaces for the elderly serving a population of 12 million who would/could benefit from them. 123 homes in which only bed-ridden elderly who need constant care are admitted. 54 old age homes are exclusively for women. There are three types of old-age homes: - free of charge - purely pay-and-stay - homes that accommodate both paying and nonpaying residents 163 old-age homes(63%) are for the destitute elderly providing food, clothing and medical aid free of charge. Shelter is given to them until their death, and these homes arrange for a decent funeral. Most of these homes are public charities, funded through donations from individuals, contributions from organizations, collections from religious groups and resident fees. Only a negligible few get funding from government grants or assistance from any other funding agency.

46 Government Policy for the Elderly: Much progress has been made in the quality and quantity of health care services in India in the past fifty years. However, improvements have been uneven with Urban areas getting the best advantages of modern technological advances in Medicare. the Government which is already grappling with a number of pressing problems, does not have adequate resources to address the issue. For more than a decade, several individuals and Organizations working with older people have been pressing the government to introduce a national policy for their welfare. Several Draft proposals have already been submitted. The Employees' Pension Scheme, which promises defined Benefits to employees after retirement as long as they or their widows live, is unsustainable in its current form. The needs of the elderly, elder-care issues, State vs. family care, elder abuse, interventional and action plan research are some areas that need accentuation. Documentation of data, creation of databases, and a national body for overseeing research are requirements that cannot be delayed any longer.

47 The cultural context of aging in India In India, family ties still hold together families to a large extent. Respect for Elders and supporting them in their old age are strong core values of the family system. Traditionally old age is seen as almost synonymous of wisdom. Even with the advent of nuclear families, children still support their parents financially at least to some extent. They might also be able to support themselves on their employment pension. The spending power and discretionary dollars of their American counterpart may not be present. Incidents of people living in old age homes or communities is still very rare. There is almost a stigma attached to it- almost of somebody having been abandoned by their family.

48 With the changing dynamics of the family system in India, it is difficult to predict how it would effect the aging Indian. Policy changes to benefit this section of the population are certainly needed But in today’s context, translating an organization such as AARP into the local context would be extremely challenging. Familiarization with the traditional family systems is very important before there could be any adaptation in the Indian scenario. With so much poverty, a large section of the population may never be inclined to join an organization like this. This could be because of the cost to join, or simply for the lack of awareness. There may be a distrust of an international organization coming in to try and provide benefits to them, especially with this generation. Also, people are still private about personal issues and issues pertaining to family – it might be difficult to get people to participate or even take membership.

49 The Medybiz Example: Cure guilt online Bangalore-based's strategy is that NRIs (Non Resident Indians) will be able assuage their guilt over being away and take care of aged parents in India over the Net. A healthcare "card" that offspring can buy for their parents (or dependents) in India for something nominal, like $30 or so, and pay for other services by use. The card will ensure that the dependents get end- to-end services - from organizing a car to take them to the doctor and drop them back home, fixing appointments, diagnostic tests, getting hospital admission, to finally posting the reports on the Net for the relatives to view. For the Local Market, they have tied up with drug manufacturers, doctors, hospitals, labs and can place orders for medicines, fix appointments with doctors and labs and get hospital admissions all on the Net, saving a great deal of time and bother. The customer for his part, only needs to make a phone call or send an e-mail, quote his/her card number and make a request. There are around 500 people calling in everyday and the company has 28,000 customers. The facility is available in six cities: Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmadabad.

50 There many government organizations and private NGO’s already working on the needs of the aging population such as: Governmental Organizations Employees State Insurance Corporation Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Non-Governmental Organizations Ageing Research Foundation of India Dignity Foundation HelpAge India Indian Council of Medical Research Institute of Economic Growth International Institute for Population Studies Senior Indian

51 Contrasting the two Organizations - AARP and HelpAge India

52 The AARP and HelpAge India both work on very different scales They also cater to very different needs of the same target audience in very different Cultural Environments and differing Constraints. The AARP is a powerful lobby backed by strong Governmental regulations to back it and the needs its members. Whereas the HelpAge India Foundation is striving to bring attention to the needs of the elderly in India with limited support from the Government and absence of proper regulations. The aged in the United States have a system of Social Security to aid them in their old age. Whereas this system is absent to the elderly in India. The advantage the Aged in India have is the strong Socio-Cultural support system from their families which strongly support them both financially and emotionally.

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