Improving health care services for elderly people: an intervention research in Chi Linh, Hai Duong
Like in other developing countries, life expectancy of Vietnamese people is increasing fast, which means an increasing number of elderly people. Like in other Asian countries, elderly people in Vietnam are mainly cared for by the family.
Previous health programmes focused mainly on the groups of young people and juveniles, especially children. At present, health care for elderly people is becoming the subject of attention. Some policies related to health care for elderly people have been issued. Some key issues are the following: (1) Family plays an important role in caring for elderly people; (2) Elderly people are prioritised when getting health care; (3) Elderly people are provided with health services at home if required; (4) Supplying free health insurance cards for people over 90 years old and lonely old people with difficulties. However, with the current poor system of infrastructure, our country is not yet well prepared for population gia hoa.
The intervention research was conducted with the aim to increaseprimary health care for elderly people in rural areas of Vietnam with expenses suitable for local situation. The intervention activities were conducted comprehensively on groups of subjects: Old people over 60 years of age; main carers and family members; community members; social organisations and health services providers.
For old people:
(1) Monitoring elderly people's health in the households: Medical cards are used to record health situation and daily health services use
(2) Periodical health check, consultation and free medicine distribution
(3) Organising training courses to provide basic knowledge about health care for old people.
(4) Reinforcing the club of elderly people through cultural and art and sport activities, putting health care activities into the agenda of the club.
5) Supplying necessary documents related to health care
For family members: Organising training courses to increase the awareness of family members about health care for the elderly, especially the need for health care of elderly people, both materially and mentally.
For the community: Organising training courses to provide essential knowledge about health care for elderly people, especially common diseases; The issue of health care for the old is put into the agenda of exchange meetings of young people and local radio station.
For health services providers: Organising training courses to provide essential knowledge about health care for elderly people, especially common health problems such as arthritis and high blood pressure. Public and private health workers are able to participate in these training courses.