Author(s): Hassan Koya Kalathingal1, Antoney Unni Xavier2
World population is aging, which is a concern of 21st century because of advances in medical sciences and improved social conditions. In developing countries like India where aging occurs rapidly due to the phase of demographic transition characterised by rapid fertility decline and increase in life expectancy. In India for the year 2010, the estimates are 8% of total population are above the age of 60 years and is likely to rise to 19% by 2050. Aging is a time of multiple illness and general disability. Old age diseases are not always curable, but only treatable, implying a strain on financial as well as physical health infrastructure resources, both at the macro and micro levels.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A cross-sectional study was done in 2016 in Atholi Panchayath of Kozhikode, which is situated in North Kerala. Elderly people with 60 years and above were included in the study. A sample size of 324 was calculated and cluster sampling method was done for selection of study subjects. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire after getting ethical clearance and was analysed using SPSS software.
Among the 324 subjects participated in the study, 163 (50.3%) were males and 161 (49.67%) were females. Mean age of the study subjects were 68.11 yrs. (range 60-94). Majority of the respondents were in the age group of 60-64 years (39.2%). Most common morbidities among the respondents were musculoskeletal disorders (57.4%) followed by vision problems (41.7%), gastric problems (39.2%), diabetes (31.5%) and hypertension (30.7%).
In our country, proportion of elderly is consistently increasing and there is need to focus on their health needs. A multilevel approach including age friendly health infrastructure development, social security measures, residential care homes, free treatment, etc. are required to manage geriatric morbidity among rural population.