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Lifestyle of the Elderly in Rural and Urban Malaysia

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Malaysia is steadily progressing toward an aging population demographic pattern. While aging is a natural process, its impact can be painful individually as well as for the nation. Individually there is a loss of a paying job after retirement, loss of physical and mental fitness, and also occasionally the loss of social integration due to lack of mobility. For a nation, an aging population means a growing dependency ratio, a greater need of care, and more medical facilities for this age group. This article looks at the various economic and social implications of the aging population in Malaysia in general, and in the rural and urban setting specifically. The paper focuses on a research sample of 132 (66 rural, 66 urban) elderly persons. The findings suggest that the demographic patterns of the elderly vary from the rural to the urban setting, with differing issues that need to be addressed to alleviate problems encountered related to loneliness, lack of financial stability, and emotional strain. Policy suggestion will be geared toward providing a solution to problems at hand as well as aiding the working group members to prepare and sustain a comfortable livelihood for the aged in their later years.

Keywords: economic and social implication; healthy aging; lifestyle; longevity; social network

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculty of Economics and Business, National University of Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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