Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2009 , Vol 55 , Num 2

Why Geriatrics

Yeşim Gökçe Kutsal 1
1 Hacettepe Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Ankara, Türkiye

One of the most significant phenomena of the twentieth century has been population aging and it has become a major concern facing the whole world. Aging is qualified as a medical and social issue. One of the major problems of gerontology is how to make a distinction between the age-and disease-related changes. Living longer and maintaining quality of life can be considered as both a success and a never-ending struggle. This struggle requires not only an ability to stay healthy, to enjoy independence and to be sociable, but also  to have access to the affordable health care. Chronic diseases exact a particularly heavy health and economic burden on older adults due to associated long-term illness, diminished quality of life, and greatly increased health care costs. Although the risk of disease and disability clearly increases with advancing age, poor health is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Disability and mortality due to many chronic diseases can be reduced by preventing measures. Physical medicine and rehabilitation approaches are very important in preventing or delaying chronic disabilities accompanying the unavoidable and irreversible process of old age, ensuring better use of the existing potentials of older persons and reintegrating them into their society as healthier and more productive individuals. 

Keywords : Aging, geriatrics, elderly, rehabilitatio