chapter  1
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Withcare: Present situation and problems

Present situation and problems Every year, in Lithuania, the number of elderly people who suffer from diverse mental diseases increases. According to the latest statistical data presented by the Psychiatric Health Centre, there are 955 000 people of pensionable age, i.e. women over 65 years old and men over 62 years old. According to the statistical data presented by the European Union, 20% of the elderly people who are over 65 have mental disorders. In Lithuania, no such epidemiological surveys have been made, but (on the grounds of the statistical data used by the other countries) it can be expected that in Vilnius there are 20 000 elderly people who suffer from mental illnesses and approximately 10% (i.e. 2000 people) of them need constant nursing, treatment and supervision because of their serious condition. During recent years, the number of people who are suffering from Alzheimer's disease is increasing. Despite treatment, people are incapable of taking care of themselves and being self-dependent; therefore, almost every patient is given invalid status.