Introduction: Negative attitude towards ageing has been linked to detrimental psychological, physical and health outcomes for older adults
Aims and objectives: The objective of this study was to determine the attitude towards ageing among the residents of one of the largest privately owned elderly care institution in Penang, Malaysia.
Methods / Study Design: This cross sectional study was conducted among the elderly residents of a non-governmental charity elderly care residential institution in Penang, Malaysia. The Attitude towards Ageing Questionnaire (AAQ) was used. In addition sleep quality, quality of life, functional independence in the activities of daily living and body mass index was measured. Data was analysed using PASW version 18. Findings: Out of the total 200 residents, 151 responded to the survey. Majority considered age group 60 to 69 and health status, appearance and level of fitness as the criteria to consider someone aged. The mean AAQ score (76.6) as well as the mean scores for the psychosocial loss (24.3), physical change (25.8) and psychological growth (26.5) domains were slightly above average suggesting a positive trend in the attitude towards ageing. The differences for the scores for marital status (p=0.007), musculoskeletal pain past 12 months (p=0.03), education (p=0.007), people that could be counted on for help (p=0.001), feasibility of getting practical help from fellow residents (p=0.01) and self-perception of health (p=0.02) were found to be statistically significant. Liner regression showed that the increase in the quality of life (p=0.011) and positive sleep quality (p=0.032) was associated with a positive attitude towards ageing
Conclusion: Family and informal social caring networks are essential to the care of the elderly.