The World Health
Organisation(WHO) estimates that about 75% of deaths in people over the age of
65 in industrialized countries are from heart diseases, cancer and
cerebrovascular disease. Millions of senior citizen across the globe are not
getting proper healthcare they need because government and the society are not
aware enough of the problem by 2026, there will be about 1200 million people
aged 65 years according to un estimates. 7% of the 1.1 million Indian
population is today over the age of 60.
The lifespan for both
male (>65 years) and female ( 75 years) has raised significantly and it is
estimated that by the turn of this century, numerically the highest number of
old people will be in India.
Nurses and health
professionals therefore have to be aware of the complexity of the care of elder
Old age is a universal
problem and is a community need. This is not a disease to be cured. It is a
stage where people need to be protected from accidents, infections and
disabilities. According to Sir Jamessterling.
Greek: genu = old age
Latera = treatment
Geriatrics : A branch of medicine
that deals with the problems and disease of old age and aging peoples.
Gerontology: Comprehensive study of
aging and the problems of the aged
Old age : Period of life when impairment of physical and mental functions becomes increasingly manifested in comparison to the previous years of life.