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Purpose – The aim of this study is twofold, first, to estimate the prevalence of multiple disabilities among the older population in India; second, to examine the socio economic determinants of multiple disabilities among the older population. Design/methodology/approach – This study used the India Human Development Survey Data (IHDS) for the analysis. Bivariate, multinomial logit regression and multiple classification analysis are used as methods for the study. Disability score is constructed for measuring the multiple disabilities among the older population. Findings – The results of disability prevalence show, a high prevalence of multiple disabilities among the older population in India. Further, disability prevalence varies considerably by age and socio‐economic characteristics of the older population. Among all the socioeconomic factors, economic factor emerged as a dominant predictor of prevalence of disabilities among the older population in India. The findings of the dimension specific assessment reveal that the disability in walking is the highest among all the disabilities. The distribution of disabled older population by living arrangement and the social network indicates that a large proportion of disabled older population lives with their children. In addition, only a few of the disabled older people have social networks. The distribution of disabled older people by employment and financial source reveal that there is a meager government support to the disabled older population in India. This study evidently suggests that a significant number of older populations in India are suffering from multiple disabilities. The number of multiple disabilities increases with the decrease in the socioeconomic status. The living arrangement and financial security assessment suggest that there is an increasing need of children and government support to the disabled older population. Originality/value – The distinctiveness of this study can be primarily found in the type of the data used, the assessment of additional disability dimensions, and the inclusion of differentials such as living arrangement, social network and work status as part of the analysis. Overall, the study with its robust statistical assessment provides a number of key insights into the social, economic security, and health care needs of the disabled older population in India.
International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 22, 2013
Keywords: India; Activities of daily living; Disability; Older people; Socio‐economic factors; Health care; Elder care
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