By Ahmet Abdulaziz….
According to the information provided by the Cyprus International University, Prof. Dr. Feray Gökdoğan, the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University mentioned in her study on “Determining the Health and sociocultural Status of the Elderly Living in the TRNC” approximately three-quarters of the elderly in the TRNC (73.36%) are elderly people living in empty homes.
Gökdoğan stated that the project is supported by the CIU TRNC Research Projects and carried out by the Faculty of Health Sciences and she mentioned that it is an important study that created a database since it is a generalized study about the elderly people living in North Cyprus.
Gökdoğan pointed out that in the study conducted with 1904 elderly people living in Northern Cyprus, 17.48% live alone, 55.88% live with a spouse and 26.62% live with a spouse and their children.
Prof. Dr. Gökdoğan stated that nearly three-quarters of the elderly in the TRNC (73.36%) are elderly people living in empty homes and most of them are between the ages of 75-84 and 73.9% of those aged over 85 are women.
Gökdoğan pointed out that the elderly people, who are left by their children, live alone and they are not capable of solving their problems. In this case, the elderly could feel themselves helpless and unsupported.
Gökdoğan stated that the social and health effects of the change in family structure are not known yet and she stated that the elderly have many problems in the empty homes such as health problems, irreversible decrease in their capacities, and lack of adequate resources for the treatment of diseases.
Prof. Dr. Gökdoğan recalled that the term “empty homes” is used for the elderly, who do not have any children that left home, live alone or with their spouses. Dr. Gökdoğan stated that empty homes were gradually increasing due to the increase in the ageing rate of the society and the shrinkage in the family structure.
Although the elderly in empty homes need more services, they also have difficulty getting the services and she stated that the policies towards the elderly in empty homes should be planned and transformed into a service in cooperation with the institutions.