'We want a peaceful life here and hereafter': Healthy ageing perspectives of older Malays in Malaysia

Noorlaili Mohd Tohit @ Mohd Tauhid, Colette Joy Browning, Harriet Radermacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Healthy ageing concepts have been extensively studied in Western societies but few studies have explored the perceptions of older people from other cultural backgrounds. The aim of the study was to explore the conceptualisations of healthy ageing and perceived influences on ageing well amongst relatively healthy older Malays, a major ethnic group in Malaysia. Eight focus groups were conducted, with 38 participants recruited via community groups and leaders. Six themes were identified: spirituality, physical health and function, peace of mind, financial independence, family, and living environment. In this paper, we focus on the role of spirituality in healthy ageing which was a core resource in participants' lives. Participants reported that good physical health was an important resource that facilitated commitment to their spiritual activities. Furthermore, deteriorating functional ability appeared to provide an opportunity to optimise their spirituality, rather than hinder it. Participants wished for a 'peaceful life' and experienced this by enhancing their spirituality. Other ingredients for a peaceful life were financial independence, living in a place they love and having family members who live in harmony. In this community where religious affiliation is a tradition, spirituality can be fundamental for healthy ageing and its inclusion in aged care policy is imperative. However, further exploration on the diversity of individual expression of spirituality is important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-424
Number of pages20
JournalAgeing and Society
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Fingerprint

Spirituality
Malaysia
spirituality
Aptitude
Love
Health
denomination
Focus Groups
health
Ethnic Groups
resources
community
family member
love
peace
ethnic group
Group
inclusion
commitment
leader

Keywords

  • Asia
  • healthy ageing
  • Malay
  • Malaysia
  • older people
  • spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

'We want a peaceful life here and hereafter' : Healthy ageing perspectives of older Malays in Malaysia. / Mohd Tohit @ Mohd Tauhid, Noorlaili; Browning, Colette Joy; Radermacher, Harriet.

In: Ageing and Society, Vol. 32, No. 3, 04.2012, p. 405-424.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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