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Surviving social support: Care challenges facing Taiwanese centenarians

Authors

  • Pei-Shan Yang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Social Work, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
    • National Taiwan University Social Policy Research Center, Taipei, Taiwan
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Pei-Shan Yang, Department of Social Work, National Taiwan University, no. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 106, Taiwan

E-mail: peishan@ntu.edu.tw

Abstract

In Taiwan, centenarians are the fastest growing demographic among the 65+ population. However, the general population knows little about the country's oldest citizens. There is an urgent need for research to focus on the ‘super old’ community in order to allocate sufficient public and private resources towards their care. This study explored the living conditions of Taiwanese centenarians as well as their care and support systems through a quantitative questionnaire and in-depth interviews with the centenarians or their caregivers. The total sample size of the study was 100. Sample characteristics regarding age, gender, living arrangement, physical and mental health status, daily functioning and overall life satisfaction are presented. It was found that a much higher percentage of Taiwanese centenarians lived with family members in their own homes, while their counterparts in Western societies were institutionalised. This study also identifies the concept of symbiotic care grounded in a family network.

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