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Open Access Social prescribing for healthy aging: sustaining social capital in India

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC licence.

The proportion of the geriatric population is increasing globally, and the resultant demographic burden is becoming a significant public health concern. Apart from physical ill health associated with aging, social changes such as urbanization, migration, breakdown of the joint family system, inadequate living space, and the generation gap have a negative impact on the mental well-being of elderly people. Countries need to adopt a holistic approach. Social prescribing or community referral comprises a plethora of possible nonmedical interventions aimed at supporting people with mental health needs. Social prescribing projects in developed countries have shown significant results in terms of improved quality of life, self-confidence, social belonging, reduced physician visits, and reduced prescription of psychotropic medications. Suitable adoption of social prescribing measures in developing countries could be an effective step in converting the demographic burden of the geriatric population into a significant social capital contributing to the well-being of elderly people as well as the country.
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Keywords: Social prescribing; community referral; elderly; geriatric; mental health

Document Type: Commentary

Publication date: 01 October 2017

This article was made available online on 03 July 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Social prescribing for healthy aging: sustaining social capital in India".

More about this publication?
  • Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH) is an open-access journal focusing on subjects that are common and relevant to family medicine/general practice and community health. The journal publishes relevant content across disciplines such as epidemiology, public health, social and preventive medicine, research and evidence based medicine, community health service, patient education and health promotion and health ethics. The journal has a specific focus on the management of chronic illness particularly diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, chronic heart failure, hypertension, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease and common mental illness. FMCH is published by Compuscript http://www.compuscript.com on behalf of the Chinese General Practice Press http://www.chinagp.net.

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