Social Gradient in Physical Mobility: An Investigation Among the Older Population in India

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Dona Ghosh


In densely populated developing countries like India, the constant rise in the older population has worsened the burden of palliative care. Palliative care is primarily required for older people who are physically disabled. To address the issue of palliative care, a thorough understanding of physical immobility among the older population is required. Therefore, the present study aims at an in-depth understanding of the trajectory of mobility decline as well as the critical nexus between physical immobility and social status in late life. The study uses nationally representative unit-level secondary data from two rounds of the National Sample Survey of India conducted in 2004 and 2014 to examine the underlying association between socioeconomic class and physical mobility loss among older individuals. The findings suggest that physical immobility among older adults is closely related to the social gradient. Socioeconomic factors like socioreligious identity, income, education level, household type, living environment, and gender significantly influence the physical immobility in old age. The results of this study contribute to understanding the dynamics and variability of physical immobility among older individuals and help in developing policies to reduce the future burden of palliative care.


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Dona Ghosh, Thiagarajar School of Management, India

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