Elderly welfare and quality of life: A qualitative inquiry

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Abstract


The percentage of the elderly population has increased as the baby boomers become senior citizens. In tandem with this situation, the pertinent sectors focusing on elderly care have increased significantly. In addition, the life expectancy of Malaysians has averaged 73-75 years making this population a respectable percentage of the nation’s elderly population. For the Asian culture, it is the norm to care for their elderly parents and other extended family members. That is, for conservative societies where family members have to care for their elderly relatives, more so their parents, the quality of life experienced at home and at the care centers are different. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to provide evidence of elderly welfare using qualitative and descriptive approaches. Data collection for this study took two years to complete, as interviews with respondents more time. In addition, this project required clearance from the university’s ethics committee. The analyses of findings indicated that 70% of families caring for their elderly relatives showed a higher quality of life than those at the care centers. The implications of the study showed that family members in Malaysia are still caring for their parents especially. The reasons for this are because of tradition, culture and religious backgrounds. On the other hand, the number of families sending their elderly relatives for geriatric care at private centers have indicated mixed reasons for doing this.  Sons and daughters with their own families and career have evidenced the need for sending their parents to care centers because of time constraint and that the parents will receive better attention at a professional geriatric entity. Hence, it is recommended that relevant stakeholders and policymakers ensure that the elderly population is given more attention as some are able to contribute to society even though age is the main impediment.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.21834/e-bpj.v4i12.1748

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