Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2001 , Vol 4, Issue 1
Population structure of Turkey is undergoing an ageing process thus providing planned care for elderly becomes a necessity. Health care provision for the elderly is primarily a duty of the basic health service (health centre, HC). The aim of this review is to formulate recommendations, to improve the elderly health care through better planning, for both the doctors of first level health service who provide basic care, and the physicians of third level health service who train the service providers. Firstly the HC doctor would identify the elderly people, classifying them according their age, and estimating their percentage among the inhabitants in the district covered by the HC. Secondly, the doctor would assess how the elderly are perceived by the community, then classify them according their social status, their income level and the level of support by their relatives and neighbours. Thirdly, the doctor would reclassify the groups according their health conditions they complain about. Fourthly, the doctor would select through physical examination, those needing hospital care and explain them why they are being referred to hospital and decide on how to get there. Where the adverse conditions affects service provision, the doctor may be helpful to elderly patients by recording the drugs they use, immunization information, the duration of daily walks, and by examining their vision and hearing. In the worst scenario, the doctor may provide health care through a basic surveillance system, by questioning the elderly for a few health conditions frequently seen at old age period, when they visit the HC to ask for prescription of drugs they use. The physicians of second and third level of health service should be made aware of the needs of the elderly and be organized to provide the necessary support to HC doctor. Keywords : Elderly, Health care, Basic level, Plan, Care management