Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
VERAS, Renato. Population aging today: demands, challenges and innovations. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.43, n.3, pp. 548-554. Epub Apr 17, 2009. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102009005000025.
The paper discusses the social and, particularly, the health consequences resulting from the expansion of the numbers of elderly people in Brazil over a short period. The data used were from the 1998 and 2003 Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios (PNAD, the national household sampling survey), and they express an improvement in elderly people's health conditions and similar distribution of chronic diseases across all income groups. If, on the one hand, elderly people present greater disease burden and incapacities and they use healthcare services more, on the other hand, the current models for healthcare for the elderly are shown to be inefficient and high-cost. Creative and innovative structures are required, such as social centers with health assessments and treatment. Foremost on the agenda for Brazilian public policy, priority should be given to maintaining elderly people's functional capacity, with monitoring of their health conditions; preventive and differentiated actions relating to health and education; and qualified care and multidimensional comprehensive attendance.
Keywords : Demographic Aging; Old Age Assistance; Health of the Elderly; Social Conditions; Delivery of Health Care; Preventive Health Services; Brazil.