Dr. Zehra Şebnem Ergündüz Acar, from the Faculty of Health Sciences, at Cyprus International University (CIU), pointed out that old age is one of the most sensitive periods in life. “Becoming oldpresents various social and psychological adjustment problems. Therefore the elderly need strong social support to overcome these problems.
Dr. Acar said the World Health Organization described aging as “a decrease in the ability to adapt to environmental factors.” She recalled that a decision was taken in 1990 by the United Nations to celebrate October 1st as World Elderly Day.
Dr. Acar said 'social aging' can also be evaluated as a 10% increase in the proportion of the elderly population to the general population. Whereas the overall population growth rate from 1990 to 2000 is 1.6% annually, the growth rate of the population over 65 years is 2.6%, she said.
Acar explained about a study conducted about the social life of individuals who are 65 years and older in one part of Nicosia in the context of TRNC. The results showed that the need for help in daily activities was 15.8%. She pointed out that according to these results, the elderly should be supported to live their life.
Dr. Acar said the 65 and older group in Turkey was 6.7% of the population at the beginning of the 2000s. They estimate that this number will increase to 10.6% in 2023. In 2020, they predict that Turkey would now be defined as a country that has an intense elderly population.
Acar mentioned that the aging process is a period that will last a long time and we have duties during this period. “We need to improve the lives of our elderly people and provide them a life that is full of peace, happiness, and make it meaningful for them.”