Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2004 , Vol 7, Issue 3
Tahsin Gökhan TELATAR, Hilal ÖZCEBE
Hacettepe Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Halk Sağlığı Anabilim Dalı, Ankara Chronological stages of human life determine health status and health problems of human beings. Some physiological and anatomical changes occur with increasing ages which make certain age groups more vulnerable to some health problems. The term elderly is applied to those aged 65 years and over. By the end of twentieth century, life expectancy of elderly has increased and birth rates have decreased, so the total amount of elderly in whole population has increased. Most of the health problems of elderly consist of chronic and degenerative diseases. Currently, mortality and morbidity measures are commonly used to define health states of people. However, extended life time makes the quality of life more important. Family situations, satisfaction of life, occupational status and availability of health care are important factors effecting quality of life of elderly. Life expectancy is a common measure for determining health status of populations, but a life expectancy which is free of disabilities or diseases should be more important for elderly, and such a measure can be called as “health expectancy”. From public health perspective, cost efficient interventions should be done, screened and reassessed by assessing requirements of elderly. For planning and giving health care to elderly whom constitute a special position in health care giving, a multidimensional approach should be followed and mortality and morbidity measures should be assessed with quality of health measures as a whole. Keywords : Elderly, Quality of life, Health care