By Y.S. RANA, CHANDIGARH—Today is an era of use and throw culture be it a car, battery, mobile, TV, furniture, a gadget, a gear, father or mother. Old homes of the past are now old-age homes. Temples are mushrooming everywhere yet humanity is drying up. About old people the less said the better. Old is gold but it is not so when it comes to old people. They are not only living a lonely life but passing through many ailments.
Around 23 per cent of the total global burden of disease is attributable to disorders in people aged 60 years and above reveals in the recent estimates of the Global Burden of Disease (DBT). Stroke contributed 85 per cent death occurring in people aged 60 and above across the world in 2010, added the report.
It is also stated that proportion of the burden arising from older people is 49.2 per cent in high-income regions and 19.9 per cent in low and middle-income regions. In India, prevalence of ischaemic heart disease rose two per cent to five per cent in rural settings and from 7 per cent to 11 per cent in urban settings in the past three decades. Cardiovascular diseases; sensory; respiratory and infectious disorders have increased burden per head among the older people.
The leading contributors to disease burden in older people are cardiovascular diseases is 30•3 per cent of the total burden in people; malignant neoplasms 15•1 per cent; chronic respiratory diseases 9•5 per cent; musculoskeletal diseases 7•5 per cent and neurological and mental disorders 6•6 per cent. The sociatal costs of these disorders are enormous and make their life miserable.
A substantial and increased proportion of morbidity and mortality due to chronic disease occurs in older people. Primary prevention in adults aged younger than 60 years will improve health in successive cohorts of older people, but much of the potential to reduce disease burden will come from more effective primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention targeting older people.
Effective intervention in older people is complicated by ageism, complex multimorbidity and poor access to age-appropriate care, exacerbated byuser fees, inadequate income security and social protection are some of the areas needed to be attended. Primary care services need to be reorganized and trained to better meet the needs of the aged people.
It took more than 100 years for the aged population to double in most of the countries in the world. But in India, it has doubled in just 20 years. Sixty five per cent old persons living in urban areas reported that they have to live in abject situation. They have no access to medical treatment because of lack of money. Old age homes are no solution to the problems confronting the old people.