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Minerva Medicolegale 2012 June;132(2):127-37

Copyright © 2012 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Geriatric rehabilitation

Raviele M.

Piccola Casa della Divina Provvidenza, Ospedale Cottolengo, Torino, Torino, Italia


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In all technologically advanced countries one of the major social factors that characterizes the 20th century is population aging, with longer survival of women and the increase in total number and percentage of the oldest old segment. Over the course of one hundred years, life expectancy has been prolonged by decades. Never before in mankind’s history have so many persons reached old age as is currently occurring in the developed countries. Over the past decades, the mean life expectancy at birth has risen by 4.6 years for males and nearly 6 years for females in Italy alone (79 years for men and 84 years for women, 2005 data). Rapid shifts in demographics and social structure, along with changes in lifestyle and quality of life, have led to the emergence of modern geriatrics, i.e., a global vision of the elderly in which health care and psychosocial issues are intermixed, and with them, the growing need for protection. For the same reason, modern legal medicine must adopt a new approach to evaluation: an elderly person does not differ from a young adult, except that the person’s “elderly fragility” demands extra attention. In light of this new perspective, rehabilitation therapy and the utility of insurance coverage are highly important. This article illustrates methods, objectives, and private health care procedures for the recovery of resources in elderly persons.

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