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Journal Of Ratchasuda College, Research and Development of Persons With Disabilities
Vol.11 No.14 January - December 2015

The Health Situation of the Disabled Elderly
: a case study of Tha- Maka and Dan Makham Tia districts
in Kanchanaburi Province

Somchai Viripiromgool1, Dalapat Yossatorn2 Kriengsak Thammapipol1, Supattra Srivanichakorn1, Kawinnarat Suthisukhon1


Care for the elderly with disabilities has become a serious issue of concern in contemporary Thai society. This qualitative research aims to study the health situation of and health care for the elderly with disabilities in two Thai communities by means of semi-structured, In-depth interviews with twelve family caregivers, in Tha Mai sub-district of Tha-Maka District, and twelve in Jorake-Puak sub -district of Dan Makham Tia District, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand, a total of 24 cases in all. Two focus group discussions with community leaders, local organization administration staff, public health officials, village health volunteers (VHVs), and Care-for-the-Elderly-at-Home volunteers in these areas were conducted using semi-structured questions.

The findings show that there is an increasing trend towards elderly people in these communities possessing some form of disability due to chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes etc.; as well as age-related afflictions such as hearing loss, stroke, osteoarthritis etc. Accidents and falls also contribute to long-term disabilities in the elderly. With regard to health care for the disabled elderly, different levels of care were identified, namely, self-care; care by family members; and by societal members including neighbors, volunteers, and relevant local authorities.

Health care staff and relevant agencies should disseminate knowledge about and raise awareness of the importance of self-care throughout one's life; accident and disability prevention advice should be made available, particularly to those who suffer from chronic disease. The provision of additional assistance is recommended in specific long-term cases, especially support equipment that facilitates daily life activities such as wheelchairs, air mattresses etc. Transport facilities should be made available as required so that the elderly with disabilities may access health care services more conveniently, and an increase in the old age benefit is sorely overdue. Finally, health care knowledge must be promoted and maintained for family members, VHV, and the Care-for-the-Elderly-at-Home volunteers.

Keywords: elderly, disability, health situation, long term care, community


* Opinion, information and conclusion in the articles are from journals' writers. It does not imply that publication department agreed for all contents.