The project involved a study of 1910 subjects
aged 60 + registered in the Geriatric Clinic of the Primary
Health Centre, Kallandiri. The Study included, besides socio-demographic
details, family composition, family integration, social integration,
physical illness and handicaps and mental health assessment.
Intervention measures were instituted and the subjects were
followed-up for a period of three years. The project involved
the training of PHC medical and paramedical staff in detection
of physical, mental morbidity and family and other psychosocial
factors in the aged and on health education and rehabilitation.
The followup covered 97% of the probands. A significant improvement in health status
and in family and social integration was noted following intervention.
The mortality in the series was 5.7%. Two sub-sample surveys,
one involving collection of data on the pattern of utilisation
of health services and another on an evaluation of the geriatric
services offered were conducted.
A preponderance of females over males in
the ratio of 2 : 1 was noted. Almost two-thirds belonged to
the 'not at all joint' family category (Khatri's scale) and
one-fourth of the subjects were living alone. A good integration
into the family was noted in 71% and into the community in
93%. Every elderly person had multi-diagnoses and multi-system
involvement and the study revealed on an average a minimum
of 3-4 symptoms and 2-3 clinical diagnoses simultaneously
in any individual. Visual handicap and Degenerative Joint
Diseases topped the morbidity list. The psychiatric illness
occurred in 8.1% of the subjects. A state of well being was
observed in nearly 20% of the subjects in the rural area.
The study has offered a feasible model for
the total health care of the rural aged within the existing
infrastructure with some extra inputs