Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Improving the life quality of older people in the context of rapid population aging was at the heart of a workshop held in Hanoi on October 1.

The Vietnam Public Health Association conducted a research study from September 4-9 to initially assess the quality of life of over 597 people aged above 60 in 12 communes of Tien Hai, Dien Khanh and Thanh Binh districts in the respective provinces of Thai Binh, Khanh Hoa and Dong Thap.

The study used the older people’s quality of life questionnaire, translated into Vietnamese and nationally standardised from the human life quality measurement instrument developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The results revealed that the living standards in the surveyed areas stood at 7.5 on the 10-point scale, those with higher longevity are likely to have poorer living standards and the overall quality of life of women is below that of men.

Le Minh Quang from the Vietnam National Committee on Aging (VNCA) said the number of elderly in the country is increasing and 30 percent of them are living alone or with their aging spouse; 40 percent do not have social insurance cards.

The elderly are often affected by chronic diseases, mental disorders and dementia, bringing their health costs to be 7-10 times that of the youth.

Quang suggested the health sector increase preventive health service provision and raise the coverage of health insurance among older people.

It is important to enhance the national capacity to providing healthcare for the elderly at hospitals, at home and in the community while developing a long-term care system, he recommended.

During the workshop, participants also discussed issues with aging and social welfare in Vietnam.-VNA