IJSRP, Volume 3, Issue 9, September 2013 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
G. Vani Bhushanam, K. Sreedevi and Janaki Kameshwaran
The transition from the traditional pre-industrial to modern phase of development of society in India has in many ways changed the social context of the adjustment of the aged. In India, the elderly population depends heavily on the family for economic and emotional support. With joint family system, slowly diminishing the elderly are now being placed in ‘Homes’ and left to the care of such Organizations. This study compares the living conditions and nutritional status of elderly in selected paid and unpaid homes in Chennai, India. The living conditions and physical facilities provided are also assessed and compared. The nutritional status of one hundred and forty elderly from paid and unpaid homes was assessed using subjective, anthropometric and clinical parameters. The BMI of the elderly in unpaid homes was within the normal range of 17.5 to 24.9kg/m2. It was found that the women in the age group of 52 to 64 years had higher BMI than their older in both the sexes. The women in the 75+ age group range were malnourished while the rest were normal in paid homes. The clinical signs of nutritional disorders were, in general, not specific and mostly associated with old age. The awareness levels of elderly in nutrition knowledge revealed a mean 36%. Significant differences were observed between homes on their opinion towards food provided, physical facilities available, nutritional knowledge and sanitary conditions. However, individual differences were also observed within the homes in all the criteria assessed.