WITH MORE than a million elderly Thais in frail health and unable to live independently, the Public Health Ministry said that it was looking for ways to help people maintain good health for as long as possible.
“We will encourage communities to take good care of their elderly and promote the ‘Stay Healthy in the 80s’ concept,” the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr Narong Sahametapat, said yesterday.
He added that the ministry had earmarked Bt39 million to promote good health among the elderly at local levels this year.
“We have developed a database for elderly people in villages to assess their physical and mental fitness and determine which activities are good for them,” he added.
According to him, a 2009 survey showed that up to 6 million Thais were above the age of 60, and of them, more than a million had to stay at home and be looked after by others. As many as 63,000 of them were bed-ridden and needed help in all aspects of daily life.
The most common chronic diseases among the elderly are hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and osteoarthritis. The number of Thai people above the age of 60 is expected to jump to 14.4 million by 2025, which will account for 20 per cent of the population.