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Indian J Community Med. 2009 Apr;34(2):131-4. doi: 10.4103/0970-0218.51236.

Health and social problems of the elderly: a cross-sectional study in udupi taluk, karnataka.

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1
Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Change in socio-economic status and various health problems adversely affect an individual's way of life during old age.

OBJECTIVES:

To study the health and social problems of the elderly and their attitude towards life.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Descriptive study carried out in the Field practice area of the Department of Community Medicine in South India. A total of 213 elderly patients (60 years old and above) who attended the outreach clinics were interviewed using a pre-tested schedule. Findings were described in terms of proportions and percentages to study the socio-economic status of the samples and its correlation to social problems.

RESULTS:

Around 73% of the patients belonged to the age group of 60-69 years old. Nearly half of the respondents were illiterate. Around 48% felt they were not happy in life. A majority of them had health problems such as hypertension followed by arthritis, diabetes, asthma, cataract, and anemia. About 68% of the patients said that the attitude of people towards the elderly was that of neglect.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of the study showed that there is a need for geriatric counseling centers that can take care of their physical and psychological needs. The stringent rules for eligibility to social security schemes should be made more flexible to cover a larger population.

KEYWORDS:

Attitude; elderly; morbidity; social and health problems

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