Correlate of self‑care and self‑neglect among community‑dwelling older adults

Homa Mardan, TengkuAizan Hamid, Ma’rof Redzuan, Rahimah Ibrahim



Background: The prevalence of self‑neglect among the elderly is expected to rise with a rapid increase in the growth of the older population. However, self‑neglect in the elderly and the factors related to it are not fully understood due to the limited research in the area, lack of consensus in the definition of the concept, and limited instrumentation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between selected socio‑demographic factors on self‑care and self‑neglect among older persons living in the community.

Materials and Methods: A cross‑sectional survey design with cluster sampling was adopted for the study. Data were gathered from 201 older persons aged 60 years and over in the state of Selangor, Malaysia, through face‑to‑face interviews in their homes with a team of trained enumerators. A new instrument was developed to measure self‑neglect.

Results: The internal consistency of the new instrument showed a reliability of 0.90. A significant bivariate relationship was noted between self‑care and self‑neglect. The socio‑demographic factors were also reported between self‑care and self‑neglect.

Conclusions: The new instrument of elder self‑neglect (ESN) could be used to measure self‑neglect in a community dwelling. The need to increase the self‑care skills and the capacity of self‑care among older adults is crucial in order to reduce self‑neglect and enhance their well‑being.

Key words: Cross‑sectional survey, elder self‑neglect, Malaysia, self‑care agency

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