Thursday, August 18

Association between Time Use Behaviour and Health and Well Being among Elderly: Evidence from the Longitudinal Ageing Study of India

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By Suresh Sharma & Jyoti Chaudhary

Working Paper No- 450

Ageing is an inevitable demographic process occurring globally. Coming decades are projected to see a substantial increase in the elderly population and with rise in their number, the social, economic and health policy landscape for the elderly would also need upgradation in response to their needs. Thus identifying the drivers of health and well-being in elderly is essential. One such potential driver of health could be the daily routine of the elderly which focuses on the nature of activities being performed by them. Utilizing time use data from the Longitudinal Ageing Study of India (LASI), we examine the time allocation of the elderly, looking into how much time the elderly spend on active participation and how this allocation varies according to their socio-economic and demographic context. We further explore the association between self-rated health, wellbeing and daily activity engagement decisions of the elderly. The results from the analysis provide insight into activity engagement choices of the elderly across varying socio-economic classes. Time spent in working/volunteering and in exercising was found to have significant positive association with health and well-being indicators. Our results also show that the gender difference in nature of time utilisation by elderly is pervasive. For ageing to be successful, an active daily schedule for elderly needs to become a key concept of the social policy. Building employment opportunities for elderly and considering increasing the retirement age in a phased manner would not only lead to financial independence but also contribute to better health and well-being among them. Setting up community elderly associations aimed at teaching and promoting health enhancing activities among elderly can be considered.

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