Background: With advancing age, ill-health becomes a major hindrance for the well-being of the older population. Therefore, not only physical but even perceived health is an important predictor for their living happily.
Objectives: To know the sociodemographic profile of the elderly population, also to study the self-perceived health status and health seeking behavior among them.
Materials and Methods: Community-based cross-sectional study in rural areas of Haldwani block in the district Nainital of Uttarakhand. Four hundred and forty elderly patients aged 60 years and above were selected by two-stage sampling technique. Data collected during a period of 1 year were analyzed using SPSS version 16.
Result: Majority (59.44%) of the older population with age group of 60-69 years were married (59.77%), illiterate (60.0%), currently not working (78.64%), and living with spouse and children (54.09%). About 54.55% were head of their household and 46.82% were financially dependent on others. The difference between male and female about their self-perceived health status was significant (X2 = 11.2, p = 0.004). Mostly (96.51%) preferred Allopathic system of medicine and government hospital was most commonly used to seek treatment.
Conclusion: The health system should be comprehensive, affordable, accessible, and sensitive to the needs of geriatric. Geriatric specialist should be incorporated in primary care health system.
Key words: Self-perception, health status, health seeking behavior, elderly population