HEALTH STATUS OF THE ELDERLY IN SELECTED BARANGAYS OF THE CITY OF VIGAN: DIMENSIONS AND CORRELATES
Older adults in our society are stereotyped. Aging is a natural process, but the changes associated with it are rarely viewed as natural or positive. Healthcare professionals commonly describe such changes as “losses” such as a loss of tissue elasticity or decrease in blood flow. In general, our society regards aging as a series of inevitable, negative events that a person must tolerate (Travis, 2002).
Some of the myths, misconception and negative stereotypes about the older people stem from our culture’s value and beliefs. Many people perceive older adults as senile, sick and incapable of making worthwhile contributions to society (Travis, 2002). The world’s elderly population is fast increasing, but there is scant information of their health needs in developing countries. The ages 60 and above is the fastest growing age group.
Filipino culture, values and traditions dictate that the elderly people must be respected and cared for. In line with this, the updated Philippine Development Plan promotes the family’s major role in providing care in the home. It stresses the development of family-oriented support systems to help curb the increase in the number of abandoned and neglected elderly. In addition, it considers the community’s role in providing additional support. It regards voluntary organizations, private firms, or charities, as important resources in filling gaps wherein either the family or the government’s provisions of services are insufficient. At present the country’s major programs are The Department Programs for the Elderly, Institutionalized Homes for the Aged and Retirement and other Benefits (National Economic and Development Authority, 1992).
The elderly in the Philippines, those aged 60 and above account for a small portion of the population....
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