Article Type

Original Study


Objectives The aim of the present study was to assess and compare common medical health problems among the elderly living either in endwelling homes or with their families. Background The WHO defines aging as a 'process of progressive change in the biological, psychological and social structure of individuals'. Generally, aging is associated with progressive functional loss in perception, cognition, memory, and deterioration of physiological capacities. Health problems tend to increase with advancing age and very often the problems aggravate because of neglect, poor economic status, social deprivation, and inappropriate dietary intake. Patients and methods This case-controlled study was conducted on 70 elderly cases, aged 60–75 years, recruited from two homes for elderly in Banha City and 140 elderly participants (control group) matched for age, sex, and socioeconomic status recruited from two geriatric clubs. Data collected using a predesigned structured questionnaire included sociodemographic data, common medical history, medication history and health-seeking behavior, health problems affecting nutrition, and reasons of stay in endwelling homes. Results Ischemic heart diseases (50%) and memory disorders and history of falls (37.1 and 52.9%, respectively) had the highest prevalence among geriatric home residents. No significant differences were found regarding different health problems and the number of morbidities or medications. Residence in geriatric homes was associated with a large family size, memory disorder, and nutritional risks. Conclusion Elderly people of both groups are unhealthy. Aged people in geriatric homes have a multisystem morbidity besides memory disorders, falls, depression, malnutrition, elderly abuse, and loss of family support. There is a great need to conduct more research to improve our understanding of elderly populations, their health and psychosocial problems. Social support and medical care of elderly residents in geriatric homes should receive more attention.