International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Geriatric Needs in Libya: Extracting Predictors through Logistic Regression
Asharaf Abdul Salam, Mailud El-Amari, Randa Al Sanoosi

Old age, the golden age, is characterized by diminished capacities of biological, social and mental faculties. Societies and their health and social care systems exert efforts to support by means of supplements - both informal and formal. National Health Systems have empowered primary health care mechanisms in order to provide ambulatory care services to geriatric population. Geriatric care has realized by Libyan National Health System through the Health Decree 1994 that legalized care of older persons as part of primary health care. Logistic regression model consisting of demographic, social, economic, familial, lifestyle and medical requirement variables are tested with health need variables namely, number of health complaints, perceived level of service at home, admission to hospitals in the last one year, transportation arrangement to access primary health care and perceived cost of care. The exercise was carried out on a data set collected from a sample of older persons, chosen from 5 primary health centres and 5 polyclinics located at various parts of Benghazi city. While a large majority of older persons suffer from multiple pathologies, a lesser proportion had unmet expectations from their family. Hospitalizations were realized to be high (three-fourth of the sample) while transportation arrangements were fairly family based. A large majority has unfavorable perception about cost of care. These health needs are predicted to be based on variables; most importantly the economic, which was followed by life style, social dimensions, and perceived health. Demographic and familial variables play a less important role. Older persons are divided into two groups viz., (i) having greater need and (ii) having lesser need, based on the five dependent variables. A gender dimension in case of multiple pathologies and age dimension and marital status for satisfaction with care at home were revealed. Economic and life style variables play havoc in determining health needs. Well, within the cultural context and by incorporating geriatric care principles and theories, efforts shall be made to integrate care of older persons within the national primary health care and tertiary care sectors. Older persons in Libya are under conditions of multiple pathology, varying levels of health needs and perceptions depending largely on their economic, life style and socio-demographic background.

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