Os muito idosos no município de São Paulo
José Vicente Corrêa Ferreira
The world has suffered a remarkable change over the last years with profound implications for Public Health policies: the ageing of its population. Differently from what has happened in developed countries, population ageing in Brazil -and in most developing countries -has taken place in an extremely challenging environment, in which wealth inequalities and inefficient health care systems are the rule. The oldest old are at grater risk because it is an age group that demands very specialized
... e. Objective: to describe the population aged 80 or over in the Municipality of São Paulo, Brazil, in the year 2000. Methods: this research is part of the SABE study (Helth, Well Being and Ageing), which aims to describe the elderly population in Latin America and the Caribbean. Subjects were 2136 elderly people in São Paulo, Brazil. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect the data. Results: there was a high prevalence of chronic diseases, especially hypertension and rheumatic diseases. Hearing and dental health were badly assessed; 42% had suffered at least one fall and 40,2% of these falls were serious enough to demand medical assistance. Despite the high prevalence of morbidities, a high proportion of the population -sometimes greater than 50% -did not have medicines or appropriate treatment for these diseases, being many of them as serious as heart diseases or diabetes. They also lacked assistance from caregivers, even for basic activities of daily living, such as moving around in the house or using the bathroom. 14% of the elderly men and 25% of the elderly women aged 80 or over lived alone, and this was the worst living arrangement when it comes to receiving help from caregivers. The future for the oldest old living in the Municipality of São Paulo looks bleak, and urgent measures have to be taken in order to prevent the health care system from collapsing. Descriptors: aging, oldest old.