Aging perceptions matter for the well-being of elderly Turkish migrants, especially among the chronically ill
BMC Geriatrics , Volume 18 - Issue 1 p. 229
BACKGROUND: Research on cultural ideology with respect to aging perceptions leading to poorer health and well-being is necessary to improve the quality and effectiveness of (preventive) healthcare delivery in reaching immigrant elderly people and delivering care tailored to their needs. Despite the potential benefits of positive aging perceptions on well-being, there is a lack of empirical quantitative research on aging perceptions among elderly Turkish migrants. Therefore, the current study aimed to identify the importance of aging perceptions for the well-being of Turkish elderly in Rotterdam.METHODS: The current research is a large-scale quantitative study aimed at investigating the contribution of aging perceptions to well-being among elderly Turkish migrants in Rotterdam. All Turkish people aged > 65 years were identified using the Rotterdam municipal register and invited to participate in the study. In total, 680 Turkish respondents returned completed questionnaires (32% response rate).RESULTS: The average respondent age was 72.90 (SD, 5.02) (range, 66-95) years and approximately half of the respondents (47.6%) were women. The majority of the respondents was of a low education (80.3%) and reported a low income level (83.4%). The mean number of chronic diseases among study participants was 2.68 (SD, 1.87) (range, 0-10). Being female (p ≤ 0.01), being single (p ≤ 0.01), having a low education level (p ≤ 0.01) and number of chronic diseases (p ≤ 0.001) were negatively associated with well-being. In addition, negative perceptions on aging were negatively associated with well-being while positive perceptions on aging were positively associated with well-being. Stepwise regression analyses showed a mediating effect of perceptions of aging on the relationship between the number of chronic diseases and the well-being of study participants.CONCLUSIONS: Aging perceptions, especially perceived consequences of aging (both positive and negative), feelings of control (both positive and negative), and emotional representations are important to the well-being of Turkish elderly residing in the Netherlands. These results indicate the importance of the development of interventions in the perceptions on aging in the elderly Turkish population in Western Europe.