Managing social support needs in older age for childless Malaysians living in poverty

Ng, Yin Mei and Tilse, Cheryl and Wilson, Jill (2021) Managing social support needs in older age for childless Malaysians living in poverty. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 40 (4). E301-E307. ISSN 1440-6381, DOI

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Objective To explore how older people manage social support needs when they are childless and living in poverty in the Malaysian context where social policy emphasises family as the primary provider of social support. Methods Semi-structured interviews were completed with a purposive sample of 34 childless and older Malaysians living in poverty in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A thematic content analysis focused on their reports of managing social support needs. Results Key strategies were using existing resources, developing new networks and adjusting expectations. Agency played a vital role in avoiding institutional care. Conclusions This paper adds to research on childlessness in older age in varied policy and cultural contexts. It challenges assumptions about families providing social support and argues for policies to recognise older people as an individual unit rather than as part of a family to prolong independent living in the community.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Ministry of Education, Malaysia, Universiti Malaya
Uncontrolled Keywords: Childlessness; Older people; Social support
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 30 May 2022 02:28
Last Modified: 30 May 2022 02:28

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