The quality of some old age homes in Hong Kong has been questioned in recent few weeks after a report on disrespectful act on the elderly in one was made. This triggers many Hongkongers’ worries about ageing and care-taking resources in the end stage of their lives. Researchers in the ...
The quality of some old age homes in Hong Kong has been questioned in recent few weeks after a report on disrespectful act on the elderly in one was made. This triggers many Hongkongers’ worries about ageing and care-taking resources in the end stage of their lives.
Researchers in the Chinese University of Hong Kong and City University of Hong Kong published a qualitative study in 2006 on the views of middle-aged and older adults on positive ageing in Hong Kong. By engaging ninety-five people aged 40 or more from all walks of life in fifteen focus groups, they found that the dimensions of positive ageing are good health, having a positive attitude, active participation, social support from family and friends and financial security. For good health, the majority thinks it means being able to be independent in self-care with good mobility. Having a good attitude is also important as it means having a sense of purpose in life and generally feeling content. Positive ageing also means having active participation in different types of activities including hobbies or learning. Support from spouses, children or other family members is also very important for maintaining good mental health. Being financial independent is also viewed as very important for attaining a content and positive life in old age.
How could one achieve positive ageing? The researchers found that the first and important step is to start to prepare for old age earlier in one’s life. For those who start earlier in financial planning and changing into a healthier lifestyle, the probability of achieving positive ageing increase. The second step is to take the action to start a healthy lifestyle, such as having healthier diet and regular physical exercise. Thirdly, to keep a positive attitude towards ageing is also very important. Perceiving ageing as the golden age of the one’s life for enjoyment is beneficial to ones’ mental health. Another good investment for old age is the development of good family and interpersonal relationships earlier in ones’ life. The close bonding between family members and friends provides tremendous emotional support when ones facing all sorts of difficulties and ill health in old age. Last but not least, the building up of financial resources and establishment of ones’ preferred living arrangement are also important for cultivating positive ageing. If we have better planning and more positive attitude, positive ageing is not difficult to achieve.