Prof Pallavi Mehta, Ms Tejal Vasavda and Ms Arpita Shah
Department of Foods and Nutrition
Faculty of Home Science
The M. S. University of Baroda
Ageing can be defined as “Regression of physiological function accompanied by advancement of age.” One in six elderly will experience some form of mental ill health at some point in their life. Life expectancy has risen sharply this century, and is expected to continue to rise, in virtually all populations throughout the world. The number of people reaching old age is therefore increasing. There are currently 580 million people in the world who are aged 60 years or older. This figure is expected to rise to 1,000 million by 2020 – a 75% increase compared with 50% for the population as a whole.
Globally, aging is being feminized. Majority of women, particularly in patriarchal social structure like India, often lack necessary skills to maintain a healthy physical and mental status. In old age, these problems get compounded with deterioration in physical condition and unsupportive social environment. Mental health issues concerning elderly women are gaining the attention of gerontologists and social researchers.
In India – According to a north Indian Survey, the rate of psychiatric morbidity is 82 per 1000 population. The report of this survey estimated that about 15 million people suffer from one or other serious psychiatric illness and about 30 million people suffer from depressing and socially incapacitating emotional disorders (Bhatia MS, (2000) and Prabhu and Raghuram (1987)) gave an estimate that more than three crore individuals suffer from mental illness every year and that 1.75 lakh new cases are added every year.
Mental disorders are diseases that affect cognition, emotion, and behavioral control and substantially interfere both with the ability of children to learn and with... [continues]
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