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Health of older people 

Health of older people
Chapter:
Health of older people
Author(s):

Julie E. Byles

and Meredith A. Tavener

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199661756.003.0233
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date: 22 October 2019

Declines in death rates and fertility have resulted in population ageing and an associated epidemiological transition from infectious to chronic diseases. Dramatic improvements in life expectancy have occurred although these have not been equally distributed between socioeconomic groups or across countries. Ageing is associated with increased health and social care needs due not only to increased risk of chronic diseases and disability, but also due to the need for more supportive social and physical environments. Older people are capable of benefiting from a wide range of preventive interventions that reduce mortality and morbidity in middle age, and from restorative approaches. Specific preventive interventions and disease-specific services and general services such as assessment and rehabilitation units, day hospitals, and long-term care, are some approaches to meet the health needs of older people. This chapter considers the phenomenon of population ageing, health needs of older people, and approaches to health and social care.

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