Iran has always been one the youngest
populations in the world, but this situation is about to change in a very short
time. As the world is moving toward aging, Iran's median age is growing too.
Statistics show that in the year 2050, the number of senior population (people
aged 85 years old & above) will be quadrupled i.e. four times more than the
current population. What makes this difficult is the short period in which this
change is happening. In France for example, it took more than 120 years for the
senior population to grow to twice its initial size, thus giving the French
enough time to plan and build the required infrastructure.
Anyway, we do believe that it is not too late to
start thinking ahead and make plans for the future senior population. We have
conducted a thorough research to know the worldwide common approaches towards
elderly care and accommodate these plans and experiences according to our own
culture, habits and special medical needs.
In the current report we will
examine different needs of the senior population and in the following posts, we
will talk more about the solutions to these problems. Elderly population needs can be categorized into
8 different categories:
1- Chronic Conditions: In this era that most
acute and fatal diseases are controlled, the main problem of the ageing
population is chronic diseases as parkinson's disease, MS, high Cholesterol,
high blood pressure and etc. Statistics show that while more than 80% of
seniors suffer from one chronic condition, more that 68% of them suffer from
two or more chronic conditions, making them the biggest challenge of the
medical sector in the 21st century.
2- Cognitive Health: Ageing is usually
accompanied by loss of cognitive ability i.e. loss of attention, formation of
knowledge, memory, judgement, reasoning, problem solving, decision making,
comprehension and production of language.
3- Mental Health: Nowadays seniors are left
alone more than any time in the history, causing them to experience mental
problems specially depression. More than 7% of elderly population suffers from
depression and more than 18% of the suicide cases happens among the seniors.
This is especially worrying because most of the depression cases in seniors are
undiagnosed and thus never properly treated.
4- Physical injury: With aging comes many
health-related problems; one very common issue is limitation of movement which
can cause in physical injury. In USA, every 11 seconds a senior is brought to
ER & every 29 seconds a senior dies because of complications after falling
and treatment related to these issues will cost around 50 billion dollars a
5- Malnutrition: Malnutrition happens for a
variety of reasons and among different age groups, but it is especially common
among the elderly. Problems like dementia, depression, low income and dietary
restrictions can lead to malnutrition. Although very common, most malnutrition
cases are undiagnosed and lead to severe complications.
6- Sensory impairment: Vision & hearing
impairments which are quite common and simply controlled by glasses and hearing
7- Oral Health: 25 % of elderly population (65+)
don not have their natural teeth which affects their diet and self-esteem. Many
of the elderly also suffer from gum-related issues which adds more complication
even when using artificial set of teeth.
8- Bladder control & Constipation: an
embarrassing yet quite common problem among the elderly which is directly
affected by lifestyle. It is usually manageable with moderate changes in daily
activity and diet under physician’s order.
Considering these complications, we can see that
managing health in gray years can be quite complicated, important and tricky.
In our following posts we will discuss the best strategies to combat these