WONCA Special Interest Group: Elderly Care

Elderly Care

The WONCA Special Interest Group on Elderly Care was established in October 2007 and serves as a focus for the development of elderly care issues for WONCA worldwide.

Membership of the SIG is open to interested family doctors.

Convenor / Chair

Co-Convenor or other office bearers

Executive Members

Membership Open?

Vision and Mission of WONCA SIG on Elderly Care

Objectives of the WONCA SIG on Elderly Care

The aims of the WONCA SIG on Elderly Care

The SIG in elderly care aims to improve elderly care in primary care in all countries by developing new primary care models for the elderly; advocating the implementation of undergraduate and postgraduate family physician training in elderly care; promoting research in elderly care in family practice; integrating care of elderly in primary health care services.

Its specific objectives are:

  • To stimulate and promote standards of excellence in primary care to empower high standard evidence based elderly care.
  • To promote the concept of trans-generational well-being and active aging.
  • To promote and develop research on elderly care in primary care.
  • To organize scientific meetings, during WONCA and relevant conferences
  • To promote the discipline of elderly care in primary care world-wide through working within WONCA, international organisations and agencies, NGO’s, government organisations, patient groups & other medical colleges.

Why we need a SIG on Elderly Care

The greying of nations is a common observation which will have impact on health systems. Rising health care costs and the need for care to be more rehabilitation and care-oriented, than curative, will be the challenges for the near future.

Chronic health conditions are among the most common causes of mortality and morbidity in all countries around the world. Developing countries are expecting to suffer increasingly from these conditions. In aging populations, we can assume a accumulation of different chronic conditions, which lead to co-morbidity, polypharmacy, and increased health expenditures. The family physician needs to deal with this new problem.

The proportion of study in medical school and family practice residency relating to ageing is still low. The availability of age-friendly services and the provision of social and care giving services in the community is often scarce. Difficulties involved in the provision of elderly care in the family practice setting include: the volume of older patients, lower reimbursement, the duration and quality of doctor-patient relationship, the level of physician training, medical complexity, patient vulnerability, administrative burden, communication barriers, family support, ethical issues, and time pressure.

The SIG in Elderly care has a vision to see a universal gold standard of care for elderly care by primary care in collaboration with all interested disciplines and stakeholders involved.

Publications & Documents


Most important activities 2007–2010 triennium

Key future activities for coming triennium

  1. Turkish German Geriatric and Gerontology summer school.
  2. WONCA Conference in Malaga 2010: round table by Dr Inaki Martin Lesende and WONCA SAR conference in Nepal 2010 represented by Dr Machiko Inoue, from Japan.
  3. Peer-reviewed journal GeroFam which should be the official publishing organ of the SIG in future.
  1. Increase research capacity in elderly care among family physicians.
  2. Train family physicians in elderly care
  3. Participate and create links with existing WONCA networks to create intersectional areas within elderly care and increase collaboration with international bodies, eg WHO, UN, IAGG

The WHO Age-friendly Primary Health Care Centres Toolkit is a response to the “active aging” concept, which evolved from the Madrid Plan of the United Nations (UN). The SIG in Elderly Care is w Resources.

GeroFam aims to publish original research and review articles of relevance to primary health care practitioners, family medicine specialists and academics from both the developing and developed worlds, public sector and private practice with a focus in gerontological sciences. Papers are peer reviewed to ensure that the contents are understandable, valid, important, interesting and enjoyed. All manuscripts must be submitted per e-mail.


Relevant Resources


WHO Resources