The Essential Living Skills for Successful Aging among Thai Urban Elders
The present study aims to investigate what constitutes essential living skills for successful aging in the urban areas of Thailand. A mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed, in which the target group was the elderly who demonstrate good physical and cognitive health, have been living for more than five years in the two Nakorn-level municipalities in Nonthaburi Province, and regularly participate in activities held by senior clubs in the areas. In-depth interviews were initially carried out, from which data on different components of the urban elders’ essential living skills were determined. This data was used when developing a questionnaire that was administered to 362 randomly selected individuals. The results of the survey questionnaire were subsequently analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study revealed that essential living skills for successful aging in the urban areas consisted of economic skills, health skills, cognitive and psychological skills, social interaction skills, and spiritual skills. When breaking down each category, the top-ranked skills were the ability to manage one’s expenses to match income, the ability to avoid unhealthy habits, the ability to use reasoning when making a decision, the ability to understand or be aware of one's own and others’ emotions, the ability to understand and have empathy for others’ feelings, and self-esteem.
Keywords: Successful Aging, Essential Living Skills, Urban Elders
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