Geriatric depression in Kerala: a comparative study between the institutionalised and non-institutionalised.
Aging is a mental phenomenon, which every living organism has to pass through as a biological imperative of life. It is an achievement in the sense that an individual manages to survive in the face of disease, scarcity and want. It is indeed a triumph of civilization that we have scored over early death by providing wholesome food, effective medical care, in short, a higher quality of life. Yet, ageing is being viewed as a problem because of its interrelationship with social, cultural, political, economic factors. With longevity on the rise "the empty years" at the end have increased with its attendant problem of diseases, disability and psycho-physical detention. Aging is everybody's problem as everyone is bound to age and experience the impact. These and many more reasons justify the urgency to examine this multifaceted and psycho-social issue of the aged. The problems in the old age are special and unique. Desai et. al(1978) pointed out that the future of aging of the population and the challenges it poses to the government are already receiving attention in South Asia. In Indian society, gradually the problems of the aged related to health, finance and socio-psychological aspects are becoming challenges to the society and government. Examining the demography of Indian aging; 2001-2051, Rajan and others (2003) note that, India is the second largest country in the world with 72 million elderly persons above 60 years of age, as of 2001, compared to China's 127 million. According to 1991 Census, there is six to nine percent of aged people in India. Projections reveal that elderly in the age group 60 and above are expected to increase from 71 million to 179 million in 2031 and further to 301 million in 2051 thrusting a major responsibility to pool the resources towards geriatric care. (excerpt)