Majority (90.5%) of the elderly living in the community in Singapore had a positive (satisfactory to good) perception of their health. This study found that age (70 years or older), recent hospitalisation, regular medical follow-up, hearing impairment, presence of chronic medical conditions (like musculo-skeletal problems, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease and chronic obstructive lung disease), impairment in activities of daily living, history of falls, those on regular medications and those with financial difficulties all adversely influenced perception of health. Those able to participate in regular outdoor leisure activities have a positive influence. Factors that did not significantly influence perception of health were gender, health-promoting activities, work, poor eyesight, cognitive impairment, urinary incontinence, diabetes, history of stroke and the ability to use public transport.
The single most important determinant of the quality of an elderly person’s life is health. In the elderly, health matters affect all other areas of life, including his willing ness to seek and accept help.
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