Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2000 , Vol 3, Issue 3
İstanbul Üniversitesi İstanbul Tıp Fakültesi, Tıbbi Ekoloji ve Hidroklimatoloji Anabilim Dalı-İstanbul The elder segment of world population is increasingly growing. There are now millions of people aged over 100 years. The infants born in the early years of the third millennium in Japan are expected to witness the end of its first century In Turkey, the proportion of population aged 65 years and older is expected to be significantly higher than the younger population during the first century of this millennium. Aging has been recognized as a social and medical issue in developing and developed countries during the late 20th century. Maintaining the health quality of elderly population, dropping the disability rates associated with aging and fighting against the health problems encountered in elderly are new challenges for the modern communities allover the world. Balneotherapy and spa therapy are ancient and "old" methods, which are still being used for curative, preventive and rehabilitative purposes. Balneotherapy is the therapeutic use of natural factors such as thermal and mineral waters, peloids and gases in the form of bathing, drinking and, inhalation applications. On the other hand, balneotherapy plays a specific therapeutic role in the complex cures in health resorts. In a complex cure, climatotherapy, hydrotherapy, exercise therapy, massage, diet, physiotherapy, phytotherapy, relaxations techniques, physiotherapy etc. can be combined with balneotherapy. Spa therapy and balneotherapy are widely used as an alternative and complementary therapeutic options in health care systems mostly in Europe. Are balneotherapy and spa therapy beneficial and applicable in elderly? What are the risks and adverse effects of them? Are there some specific considerations in prescribing a spa therapy in elderly? In this review, we aimed to answer these questions in the light of scientific medical literature. Keywords : Elderly, Balneology, Spa Therapy, Balneotherapy, Climatotherapy, Rehabilitation