A QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF AWARENESS AND UTILIZATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY MEASURES AMONG THE ELDERLY IN KOCHI CORPORATION
Background: As per Census 2011, nearly 104 million people in India are above the age of 60 years. While in Kerala, 12.6 % of the population is elderly. The government of India has launched various social security schemes and concessions for the elderly. Hence, objective of this research is to study the awareness & utilization of social security measures. It also aimed to understand the motivators & barriers for utilization of social security measures among the elderly.
Methodology: A qualitative study was carried out in 5 geriatric care centres in the 65th division of Kochi. 7 FGDs were conducted in each of the geriatric clubs and 7 In-depth interviews were conducted among the Anganwadi workers, medical officers, public health workers, and welfare officers. The data was translated, transcribed, Coded, thematically analysed and conclusions were drawn after data triangulation.
Results: The awareness & utilization of various social security measures were found to be poor among the elderly. This was attributed to the lack of awareness among the community level workers regarding same. Pensions, railway concessions, and vayomitram project were the most popular schemes. Financial security among the pensioners through the schemes was a major motivator. While, the lack of awareness regarding the schemes and delay in processing the applications were the barriers identified.
Conclusion: Proper channelization of knowledge is important for the awareness generation among elderly and community level workers. This can further lead to effective utilization of the benefits provided.