Background: India has 8.6% of its population more than 60 years with old dependency ratio of 142. Providing health services to this ever-increasing segment of society is an unenviable task.
Objective: To analyze the medicosocial profile of elderly population and its sociodemographic covariates.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study on 280 subjects was conducted in a rural area of 5 villages. Every fifth elderly person was selected from all the villages after taking their consent. A predesigned, pretested, semistructured schedule was used for the purpose.
Result: About half (47.1%) of the subjects presented ï‚³1 episodes of an acute disease in the last 1 month. Maximum subjects gave history of fever (23.2%), followed by diarrhea (14.6%), backache (13.2%), and upper respiratory tract infection (12.5%). About 83.9% of geriatric population presented ï‚³1 chronic diseases (self-reported). Maximum subjects reported eye problems (53.2%) closely followed by locomotor problems (47.9%), oro-dental problems (38.6%), and respiratory problems (27.9%). The sociodemographic covariates of acute disease found to be statistically significant were increasing age, decreasing education level, illiteracy, >10 members in the family, involvement in outdoor activities, and having no decision-making power in the family whereas of chronic diseases were decreasing education levels, illiteracy, and no involvement in outdoor activities.
Conclusion: This study has identified an increasing need of nationwide efforts for facilitating the access to medical care of the elderly people in India.
Morbidity profile, elderly, sociodemographic covariates, acute disease, chronic disease