Health and social status of an elderly urban population in Sri Lanka

  • Nugegoda D
  • Balasuriya S
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Abstract

Although Sri Lanka has generally a young demographic profile, with decreasing overall mortality and birth rates, its population is aging gradually and will continue to do so in the future. In order to have an idea of the needs of the elderly a survey was conducted in a sample of randomly selected Sinhalese elders living in an urban community. Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) assessments were done. Ten percent of the respondents had at least one ADL impairment. Another ten percent had only IADL impairment. The commonest ADL to be affected were bathing and feeding. Children and the family provide all care for the impaired elderly. The family support system should be encouraged and assisted to prevent the necessity for more formal and expensive institutional care. A large proportion of the elderly were handicapped with defects in vision and hearing and the absence of teeth. Correction of these defects would improve both quality of life of these subjects and reduce their risk of accidents. © 1995.

Author-supplied keywords

  • ADL
  • IADL
  • family care
  • gerontology
  • urban elderly

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Authors

  • D. B. Nugegoda

  • S. Balasuriya

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