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Original Research Articles

A study on the assistance provided by the family and the community towards well being of elders in the area of the Medical Officer of Health of Kelaniya

Authors:

D. G. Gamage ,

University of Colombo, LK
About D. G.
Registrar in Community Medicine, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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M. W. Gunathunga

University of Colombo, LK
About M. W.
Senior Lecturer in Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Introduction

Population ageing is an emerging public health issue. The study was carried out to determine the assistance provided by the family and the community towards well being of elders in the MOH area, Kelaniya.

 

Methodology

A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among 576 elders above 60 years using cluster sampling technique. Data collection was done by using interviewer-administered questionnaires and observation check lists. Family assistance was assessed by selected activities in a four point scale categorized into satisfactory level of assistance= 16-24, moderately satisfactory level of assistance = 9- 15, and unsatisfactory level of assistance =0-8.

 

Results

The median age of the sample was 78 years, with 58% females. Satisfactory family assistance was observed in provision of meals (84%) and during sickness (71%). Assistance provided by the family for social activities was unsatisfactory. A significant difference (P<0.005) was observed among elders living with their children (71 %, 213/301), compared to those who were not (28%, 77/275), with regard to wearing clean clothes. There were no differences observed in relation to cleanliness of fingers, toe nails and mouth in both groups. With regard to the assistance provided by the community, only 38% (I 11/291) of elders (>70years) received a seat in buses for the specified period of preceded three months. Preferential treatment received only by 21% (98/467) above 60 years in hospitals and by 14% (53/385) at the banks among elders who required these services. Awareness on healthy active ageing (27,5%) and senior citizen identity card (113,20%) were unsatisfactory. The majority complained of Jack of community services available for the elderly.

 

Conclusion

Assistance provided by the family for social activities was unsatisfactory compared to that for personal/household activities. Assistance provided by the community was unsatisfactory in caring for the elderly. Community awareness programmes and community support services were deficient.

How to Cite: Gamage, D.G. and Gunathunga, M.W., 2007. A study on the assistance provided by the family and the community towards well being of elders in the area of the Medical Officer of Health of Kelaniya. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka, 12, pp.30–34. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v12i0.8249
Published on 26 Dec 2007.
Peer Reviewed

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