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Indian Journal of Psychiatry
Medknow Publications
Publication Date
  • Letters To The Editor
  • Medicine


Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 1999,41 (4),381-387 Letters to the Editor HEALTHY AGEING 1. The United Nations General Assembly decided by a resolution (No.47/5) to observe 1999, as the International Year of older persons. The theme for the World Health Day on 7th April, 1999 was "Active Ageing makes the difference", for the South East Asia Regional Office of WHO - (Helpage India- 1998 and World Health News, 1999). 2. Life Expetancy at birth - In the early 1950's average expetancy at birth worldwise was 47 years and in several countries it was almost 80. 3. In India life expetancy in 1995 was 62. It has currently a population of 60 millions elderly persons i.e. 6% of its total population. It is expected to be 150 million by the year 2025 i.e. about 12% population. 4. Table (attached) gives this information in a tabular form. (World Health Report 1998) - Statistics. 5. Longevity also brings with it a higher prevelence of diseases which are more common in older age groups like cancer, coronary vascular disease, gynaeological diseases of elderly women, senile and presenile dementias, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimers disease, late onset depressive disorder with a greater propensity to suicidal acts. 6. Functional impairments such as diminished muscle power, decreasing eyesight, senile cataract, impaired hearing, loss of some or all the teeth in old age, are well known. But once the remediable diseases and handicaps have been dealt with surgically or by artificial aids, the elderly person should be persuaded to learn to live with the residual impairment in the function with the prescribed medication advised by a competent doctor. 7. Main support groups for our elderly friends are the joint families and social and religious groups, NGO's and social welfare groups. Unfortunately the joint family system is rapidly crumbling. 8. Having a useful occupation or hobby, involvement in the family and in social affairs of the community, moderate exe

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