The Problems and Challenges of the Aging Population of Malaysia
Mafauzy Mohamed, (2000) The Problems and Challenges of the Aging Population of Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, 7 (1). pp. 1-3. ISSN 1394195X
Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://www.medic.usm.my/publication/mjms/
Universiti Sains Malaysia, School of Medical Sciences, Dept. of Medicine
At present, the number of Malaysians aged 60 years and above is estimated to be 1.4 million and is projected to increase to 3.3 million in the year 2020. The percentage of the population that is 60 years and over has also increased over the years - 5.2% in 1970, 5.7% in 1990 and 6.3% in the year 2000. In the year 2020, this percentage is expected to be 9.8% of the population. Between 1990 and
2020, the population of Malaysia is expected to increase from 18.4 million to 33.3 million - an increase of 80%. The aged population however is expected to increase from 1.05 million in 1990 to 3.26 million over the same period, an increase of 210%. Apart from an increase in the aged population, the aged are also living longer as evidenced by an increase in life expectancy. As women tend to live
longer than men, the disproportion between males and females therefore also increases with ageing. The sex ratio of men per 100 women will decrease from 90.1 in 1990 to 85.8 in 2020. The other feature on the demographic changes that is expected to occur in the aged population is in relation to urbanisation. The percentage of population in urban areas has increased from 24.5% in 1957 to 50.8% in 1990. Thus it is also expected that the proportion of the aged population be higher in the urban than the rural area and this change in the demographic pattern of the aged population will also influence the
distribution of health care resources. The elderlies are less healthy than the youngs,hence an increase in the proportion of the aged group is associated with an increase in the prevalence of ill health. The physical and social changes associated with ageing are combined with the debilitating effects of multiple, acute and chronic diseases. Fraility is often compounded by problems such as urinary incontinence, instability, falls and acute confusional states. Few elderly persons escape the accumulation of chronic pathologies as they grow older. Consequently, multiple pathologies resulting in multiple symptoms are a common phenomenon in the elderly. Incontinence, for example, is a common occurence and for those taking care of these people, it is a time consuming and sometimes, an unpleasant task. Alzheimer’s disease is also a common problem afflicting the elderly and is estimated to affect at least 5% of the population aged 65 years and above. The number of patients with this disease is expected to increase with the rise in the number of elderly population and this has important implications on the country’s resources. Malnutrition is also expected to be a major problem in the elderly. This is due to changes in dietary habits, poor dentition and types and amounts
of food consumed. With greater drug usage and poly pharmacy, the incidence of adverse drug reactions is more prevalent in the elderly. Physiological changes in the ageing kidney, memory deficits, altered eating habits and multiple drug regimes all contribute to make therapy more difficult in the elderly. The aged population has its own unique problems and will generate new challenges and demands on the health and social services. This undoubtedly requires a sharing of responsibilities between the government, private sector, non-governmental agencies and the community.
|Keywords:||Aged, Elderly, Health care|
Repository Staff Only: item control page