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20 pc elderly have mental problems

india Updated: Aug 21, 2010 09:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Over 20 per cent of the elderly (those over 60 years of age) in Lucknow suffer with mental problem, revealed a study conducted by the Geriatric Mental Health department of the CSM Medical University.

The study was done by the department dividing the district mainly in to two pockets rural and urban. "Among urban elderly population the prevalence of mental problem was 17.3 per cent while in rural areas it was 23.6 per cent," said Dr SC Tiwari, HoD and principal investigator in the project.

The epidemiological study of prevalence of neuro-psychistric disorders funded by the ICMR further revealed that mental problems resulted in functional and cognitive disorders for the elderly.

While those in urban areas could access health service the ones in rural areas were an ignored lot. "In villages mental problem among elderly is still considered to be age related and is ignored," Dr Tiwari said.

People in villages do not have proper health centres around and even awareness level is poor. "You can imagine the level of problem with the fact that there are roughly 83.5 million elderly living in the country but hardly there are a dozen specialized centers to deal with their mental health problems," said Dr Tiwari.

The problem of dementia was found among 4.36 per cent elderly in urban areas while 2.8 per cent rural elderly suffered with this problem.

The department of Geriatric Mental Health has organized its 5th foundation day function on Friday at Scientific Convention Centre.Dr Thirunawa Karasu from Chennai will deliver the keynote address in the programme while Dr Shiv Gautam of the SMS Medical College, Jaipur will deliver a lecture on care for the elderly.