The management of elderly people’s health in the community and the demand for elderly people’s medical care were tabled for discussion at an international seminar in Hanoi on Nov. 16.

At the seminar on medical care for older people, jointly held by the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics and the Vietnamese National Institute of Gerontology, Health Minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu stated that the elderly hold an important position in local communities and have a big impact on Vietnamese society.

The Vietnamese National Assembly will pass a Law on the Elderly, said Trieu, noting that just like in other countries around the world, Vietnam has helped to raise people’s longevity and life expectancy has increased by almost 30 years.

At present, Vietnam is home to more than 7 million elderly people, making up 10 percent of the country’s total population and the ageing population issue has proved a challenge to the nation’s socio-economic predicament.

Health specialists have said that medical expenditure on the elderly is seven times higher than that of young people, and will continue unless a suitable solution is found.

According to them, the elderly usually suffer from high-blood pressure, heart disease, endocrine disorders; depression and amnesia, which all seriously affect their lives.

Professor Jean Francois Dartigues said that diseases like Alzheimer’s and others have become a serious issue for community health services, what with the ageing population and an increase in life expectancy in almost every country.

There are currently 35 million people suffering from Alzheimer’s and this figure is expected to double to in another 20 years and could reach 115.4 million people soon after that.

The number of sufferers has increased mainly in developing countries, he said, emphasising the need to widely apply suitable preventive measures to all cultures and societies

At the seminar, the specialists also discussed Alzheimer’s, rehabilitation for the elderly and their reintegration back into the community./.