Elderly Health Literacy: A Multi-Country Comparator Study
The aging of the Chinese population places a significant burden upon its health system. The China health system strategy for elder care relies on the concept of 'subsidiarity': care is provided at the closest immediate level (the patient, patient's family) before seeking additional care at higher levels (community or tertiary care providers and facilities). To implement subsidiarity assumes the elderly have an adequate level of health literacy to provide for their own care or care provided to them by loved ones. Health literacy includes disease prevention, early intervention; treatment approaches, especially for non-communicable diseases (NCD), and rehabilitation nursing. Health education also includes an understanding of medical service systems, schools, community, enterprise or social organizations; and includes the use of mass media and government public health initiatives. The study examines approaches to elderly health literacy found in Japan, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom. From those comparator countries best practices and research tested approaches to increase elderly health literacy are identified for consideration by the study sponsors.