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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 573  

World health organization envisages for strengthening of primary care and integration of health services to improve well-being of elderly people


1 Department of Community Medicine, Member of the Medical Education Unit & Medical Research Unit, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication15-Nov-2018

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/MJDRDYPU.MJDRDYPU_218_17

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. World health organization envisages for strengthening of primary care and integration of health services to improve well-being of elderly people. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2018;11:573

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. World health organization envisages for strengthening of primary care and integration of health services to improve well-being of elderly people. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Dec 19];11:573. Available from: http://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2018/11/6/573/245420



Sir,

In the last five decades, owing to the socioeconomic development, decline in fertility, and improvement in the health-care services, a significant rise in life expectancy has been observed.[1],[2] In fact, it has been anticipated that by 2050, 1 in 5 people will be from the elderly age group.[1] Acknowledging the sheer magnitude of elderly people, their medical ailments, and their role in shaping the lives of future generations, it is of utmost importance to ensure that all the elderly individuals can avail the desired health services regardless of any determinant.[1],[2]

The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the goal of healthy aging as aiding people in developing and sustaining the functional abilities to enable their well-being.[2],[3] To achieve the goal, the WHO is advocating for strengthening of the primary level of health-care services and envisages the contribution of outreach health workers in enabling elderly people to live a healthy life.[2] The idea should be to not only focus on the medical ailment but also conduct a thorough assessment of the needs of the elderly people, and primary care workers have a crucial role to play.[1],[2] Moreover, a large fraction of health professionals is not trained to identify and handle impairments in older age groups, and thus, the delivery of community-based services can remarkably assist in prevention of the physical and mental abilities among the elderly.[2],[3]

In addition, special emphasis should be given toward the integration of available services for varied conditions.[2] Acknowledging the fact that in most of the settings, the health system is not well-equipped for the elderly population groups, all the stakeholders starting from the community level to the health professionals have to work together and support their well-being.[1],[2] Further, recently released guidelines by the WHO has recommended for a better coordination between health and social care providers for meeting the needs of elderly people by performing a comprehensive assessment and formulation of appropriate care plans.[2] In addition, recommendations in the form of three modules have been suggested to provide evidence-based guidance to health professionals to decide on the suitable approach in the community and ensure its delivery with the help of caregivers.[2] It is worth noting that some of the nations (namely, Brazil, Japan, and Thailand) have come forward to invest and thus assist in healthy aging, and encouraging results have been obtained.[2]

To conclude, the provision of integrated care can significantly assist in improving the health and well-being of the elderly, so that they can continue to contribute to the society and are not left behind.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. WHO Guidelines on Integrated Care for Older People (ICOPE). Geneva: WHO Press; 2017. p. 1-26.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Health-care of elderly: Determinants, needs and services. Int J Prev Med 2013;4:1224-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. What can be done at national level for the welfare of the ageing population: World Health Organization leads the way. J Geriatr Ment Health 2016;3:185-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
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