How are seniors treated in Austria

Seniors Report: Increase Healthy Lifetime

The data show that many senior citizens rate their own state of health as good or very good: in the group of 65 to 74 year olds it is more than 50 percent, in the group of 75 to 84 year olds 36 percent. Life expectancy from birth is also still increasing: in 2010 it was around 78 years for men and 83 years for women.

Increase the number of healthy life years

However, many, including younger senior citizens (65 to 74 year olds), live with complaints: around 50 percent suffer from spinal problems and high blood pressure. And osteoarthritis / arthritis is a problem for more than 40 percent of women and 25 percent of men in this age group. Obesity is also common. Serious health impairments and functional limitations do not appear until later in life. The most common chronic complaints are spinal problems, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis / arthritis. Hospital stays are most often necessary due to cardiovascular diseases or diseases of the musculoskeletal system. People of old age are much more affected by chronic diseases, which also affect the quality of life in everyday life. Ten to 20 percent of 75 to 84 year olds have problems with activities of daily living.

In fact, men and women in Austria can expect around 56 and 60 years of life, respectively, in good health, that is, without chronic illness or functional limitations. The primary goal of the general health goals for Austria drawn up by the Ministry of Health is therefore to “increase the health expectation by two years by 2020”, explained Health Minister Alois Stöger.

Differences between women and men

Women have a longer life expectancy and are treated less often in hospital than men. However, women live with chronic diseases for more years and are more often affected by impairments of the musculoskeletal system. Women in the 65 to 74 age group eat more healthily in that they consume more fruit and vegetables.

Overall, the nutritional behavior of senior citizens is characterized by too much fat, table salt and sugar, but too little carbohydrates and fiber.

Strengthen health literacy

Exercise and diet also make a very important positive contribution to health in old age, the report emphasizes. However, the frequency of physical and sporting activities decreases with age. That movement is an important part of a healthy life is evidently learned from childhood. The report shows that senior citizens who have been physically active at a young age also do so in old age.

Health Minister Alois Stöger: "The needs of senior citizens have already been taken into account in the National Action Plan on Nutrition and in the National Action Plan on Exercise, which is about to be completed." These plans are intended to help improve people's health.

Dr. During the presentation of the report, Andreas Khol and Karl Blecha, the presidents of the Austrian Seniors' Council, pointed out a lack of knowledge about how to maintain one's health. As a recent study shows, the health literacy of the Austrian population and especially the elderly is low compared to other EU countries. The presidents of the Seniors' Council therefore demand targeted information work in order to strengthen health awareness.

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last updated 11.09.2012
Approved by the health portal editors