This century has been characterised by a substantial increase in the number of elderly residents in the community in the technologically advanced countries. One obvious consequence of this has been a pressure on existing mental and socio physical facilities that cater for the elderly. The medico-social factors responsible for this rise in the proportion of the elderly in advanced countries are subtly creeping into many developing countries like Nigeria (Lambo, 1966). It is with this perspective in view, coupled with the dearth of literature on psychogeriatrics in developing countries, that I decided to review the socio-demographic and clinical aspects of elderly (60 years and above) admissions to the Nigerian National Neuropsychiatric Hospital and WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health over a five year period (1 January 1982 to 31 December 1986). An attempt will also be made to draw comparisons with my experience of psychogeriatrics in the United Kingdom (I trained in psychiatry at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in the early 1980s).
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