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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 273-279
Health and socioeconomic status of the elderly people living in Hilly areas of Pakhribas, Kosi Zone, Nepal

Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), Dharan, Nepal

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Deepak Kumar Yadav
School of Public Health and Community Medicine, BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), Dharan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.193333

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Background: The rising geriatric population is facing significant health and social problems in the developing world that are impacting the quality of their lives. Objective: The study describes the general health status and the socioeconomic characteristics of the elderly people of Pakhribas village development committee (VDC) of Eastern Nepal. Materials and Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out targeting the people aged 60 years and above in the sample area using a semi-structured questionnaire and convenient sampling to get the required sample size. A total of 189 elderly people who consented were interviewed in May 2010. Result: The major part of the elderly population was in the age group of 60-69 years. Seventy-two percent were illiterate and 75% were still earning with the majority involved in farming. Nine out of ten were living with their families and still made decisions for the household, Eighty-two percent did not feel lonely and 88.4% did not report any misbehavior by the house members. Regarding health, 69% had some diagnosed health issue with 36% suffering from gastritis and 20.4% from chronic lung disease. Using the ICD 10 criteria, depression was found among 18%. The most prevalent geriatric problem was a dental problem as found in 61% even though 87% claimed to brush their teeth regularly. More than half were suffering from visual difficulty and the proportions suffering from memory and hearing issues were also substantive. Smoking habit was found in 60%, and the relation between smoking and chronic respiratory diseases had a statistical association (P = <0.05). The geriatric cases who were misbehaved with felt depressed or neglected in the family (P = <0.0001). Conclusions: The results of the study show that employment, family support, and pension schemes have a positive impact on the social status of the elderly. Health screening clinics should be established in the community to detect health-related disorders. Elderly populations need health education to emphasize the importance of personal and dental hygiene and to abstain from smoking and alcohol.

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  2007 - Indian Journal of Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
  Online since 15th September, 2007