Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Kota Surabaya

Surabaya: Pioneering Elderly-Friendly Initiatives for a Thriving Senior Population

May 13, 2024

Surabaya, Indonesia's dynamic metropolis, is setting a gold standard for elderly-friendly cities, prioritizing the health, welfare, and happiness of its senior citizens. With a range of innovative initiatives tailored to the needs of older adults, Surabaya is fostering a supportive and inclusive environment where elderly residents can age gracefully and enjoy a high quality of life. From financial assistance to healthcare services, Surabaya City Government is committed to ensure that seniors are valued, respected, and empowered to lead fulfilling lives in their golden years.

Surabaya, like many cities globally, has to prepare an increase in its aging population. An aging population refers to a demographic trend characterized by a growing proportion of older adults within a population. Even though the elderly population in Surabaya shows small percentage, precisely 7.77%, it is expected that in the future the proportion of the senior population will increase gradually. Factors contributing to this demographic shift include advances in healthcare and improvements in life expectancy. As the population ages, Surabaya faces challenges related to healthcare, social support, and economic sustainability, prompting the need for targeted policies and programs to address the needs of its elderly residents. Additionally, understanding the demographic characteristics of Surabaya's aging population is essential for informed decision-making and resource allocation to ensure the well-being and quality of life of older adults in the city.

In response to the aging population trend, Surabaya City Government has implemented a range of initiatives aimed at promoting the health, well-being, and social inclusion of its elderly residents. At the forefront of Surabaya's elderly-friendly initiatives is a comprehensive support system aimed at alleviating financial burdens and promoting economic security among older adults. Senior citizens in Surabaya benefit from exemption from water and electricity rates, as well as the waiver of land and building taxes. These measures not only help seniors maintain their independence but also contribute to their overall well-being and peace of mind.

Furthermore, Surabaya provides essential care and support services for elderly residents through the provision of nursing homes and social rehabilitation facilities. With two existing nursing homes offering comprehensive services such as food, clothing, health services, and exercise programs, Surabaya ensures that seniors receive the care and attention they deserve. Looking ahead, the city is set to expand its support network with the addition of another nursing home in 2024, further enhancing access to long-term care for elderly residents.

In addition to physical health, Surabaya prioritizes the mental well-being of its senior citizens through general health and mental health screenings. These screenings help identify and address health concerns early on, ensuring that seniors receive timely medical intervention and support. Moreover, Surabaya encourages active aging through exercise activities and the provision of additional food to promote nutrition and vitality among older adults.

Recognizing the importance of mobility and accessibility, Surabaya offers elderly-friendly transportation options and infrastructures designed to cater to the needs of seniors. From accessible public transportation to pedestrian-friendly walkways and age-friendly public spaces, Surabaya ensures that seniors can navigate the city safely and independently.

Furthermore, Surabaya facilitates house renovations to improve the living conditions of elderly residents, making homes more accessible and age-appropriate. Through direct cash assistance for disadvantaged senior citizens, the city provides financial support to those in need, ensuring that no elderly resident is left behind.

Surabaya has witnessed a notable increase in life expectancy over recent years, reflecting the city's commitment to improve healthcare services and promote a healthier lifestyle among its senior residents. In 2021, the average life expectancy in Surabaya stood at 75.43 years, marking the beginning of a positive trend. Building upon this foundation, Surabaya saw a gradual rise to 75.63 years in 2022, signaling ongoing improvements in healthcare access and quality for the elderlies. This upward trajectory continued into 2023, with the average life expectancy further increasing to 75.82 years. These successive increases highlight Surabaya's efforts to enhance public health initiatives, strengthen healthcare infrastructure, and empower senior citizens to make informed choices about their well-being. As life expectancy continues to rise, Surabaya is poised to enjoy the benefits of a healthier and more vibrant aging population, contributing to the city's overall prosperity and quality of life.

Surabaya’s life expectancy in 2021-2023
Data Source: Statistical Central Bureau, 2024

In conclusion, Surabaya's commitment to creating an elderly-friendly city reflects its values of compassion, respect, and social inclusion. By prioritizing the health, welfare, and happiness of its senior citizens, Surabaya is setting a positive example for cities around the world, demonstrating the transformative impact of age-friendly policies and community support systems. As Surabaya continues to evolve as an inclusive and supportive city, it remains dedicated to ensure that its senior residents can enjoy a happy, prosperous, and dignified life in their later years.