Preventive Geriatrics—A Way Towards Active Ageing
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The elderly (>60 years) population in India is on rise and now constitutes 9% of total population. The population in India is greying at much faster rate while the health system is not yet completely prepared to face this silver tsunami. Unlike in west, the country became rich first and with adequate infrastructure while the population greyed later. Providing health care to the elderly as speciality is a biggest ever challenge our country is facing today. Few things that one needs to be aware regarding the elderly population are they fear disability more than death, blame the symptoms to ageing and delay in seeking medical attention. The preventive geriatrics shall aim at maintaining independent or near independent life, preserve the function so as to ensure good quality of life and active ageing. The primary, secondary and tertiary levels of preventive measures are very effective in preventing or delaying diseases in elderly age group. The priority for preventive measures should begin before the onset of diseases and or in preventing or delaying the complications of the existing chronic diseases. The preventive strategies will include modifiable, protective and screening measures. The modifiable measures aim at healthy lifestyle activities, good oral hygiene, cessation of smoking, tobacco chewing and alcohol consumption. Protective measures like immunization against pneumonia, herpes, hepatitis and tetanus will prevent communicable disease. The screening for diabetes mellitus, hypertension, vision disturbances, depression, dementia and risk for falls should be carried out on all elderly people at regular intervals. The main goal of the preventive geriatrics will be to keep the elderly population physically, mentally and socially active. The role of family support is also more effective tool in promoting good quality of life in older people.
KeywordsPrevention Elderly Quality of life Active ageing
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