Barriers to Community Integration for Older People in Malaysia: A Qualitative Study from Occupational Therapist Perspectives.
Our world’s population is ageing at an accelerated pace. South-Eastern Asia has one of the fastest paces of the growing ageing population. The population aged 65-years and above doubled from 6% in 1990 to 11% in 2019. Similarly, in Malaysia, the population aged 60 and over has doubled from one million in 1970 to 2.2 million in 2017. By 2040 the Malaysian population is projected to increase by 40 million, of which 7 million will be aged individuals —labelling us as the “ageing nation”.
Apart from the population growth, aged are also living longer. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the older Malaysian well-being is are of the utmost priority. It is undeniable that older individuals are less healthy than the young ones; this is concerning since there are only 40 geriatrics and 2000 occupational health specialist in the country.
Thus, emphasising the need for prevention focused on promoting a better quality of life- such as work, retirement, income, housing, family, community and leisure activities. In addition to this, as described in the World Health Organization (WHO), World Report on Ageing and Health, 2015 social change, filial piety and ageing has also weakened in the 21st century. The rise of smaller families and the younger generation’s migration have left a detrimental impact on older people. Burdens such as sharing physical, emotional and financial responsibilities of an aged parent, have left older people facing social exclusion, isolation, poverty and abuse.
Public Health Open J. 2021; 6(1): 1-8. doi: 10.17140/PHOJ-6-152