Factors Affecting Post-Retirement Adaptation of the Elderly in Phattalung Province

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1 Factors Affecting Post-Retirement Adaptation of the Elderly in Phattalung Province Chatjongkon Tunlayanisaka 1, Dr. Kanda Janyam 2, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sujitra Jorajit 3 1. M.A. in Human and Social Development, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Prince of Songkla University 2. Faculty of Liberal Arts, Prince of Songkla University 3. Graduate School, Hat Yai University ABSTRACT The objectives of this study were to investigate post-retirement adaptation, factors related to post-retirement adaptation and factors affecting post-retirement adaptation. The subjects were 300 retired elderly who were members of the Center for Wisdom Promotion for the Elderly, Phattalung Province. The instrument of the study was a questionnaire on personal factors, preparation prior to retirement, participation in social activities, attitudes towards retirement and post-retirement adaptation. The data were analyzed in frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, chi-square and multiple regression. The results of the study revealed that most of the elderly (74.7%) had a high level of adaptation. When considered by item, it was found that most of the elderly had an appropriate level of adaptation in all aspects. The highest number of the elderly (99.3%) adapted themselves in their role and responsibility followed by their dependence on each other (99.0%), physical adaptation (94.7%) and self-concept (83.3%). The results of the analysis of factors related to post-retirement adaptation revealed that the health condition was significantly related to physical and self-concept at.05, the position held prior to retirement was significantly related to self-concept adaptation at.01, and the length of time after retirement was significantly related to physical adaptation at.05. The variables of personal data, preparation prior to retirement, participation in social activities, and attitude towards retirement can jointly predict post-retirement adaptation of 23% of the elderly. The three factors found to have a statistically significant effect on post-retirement adaptation were: attitude towards retirement, health condition and social activities. Attitude towards retirement was found to be a factor that could most predict post-retirement adaptation (β = 0.363) followed by health condition (β = 0.168) and social activities (β = 0.117), respectively at a statistically significant level of.001. Keywords: adaptation, post-retirement adaptation, elderly The International Conference on Graduate Students Research Work: 1

2 INTRODUCTION Adaptation is a very essential process for a happy life in every generation because human life constantly changes. The elderly is one of the groups that need adaptation which at this age is considered crucial because the adaptation is towards critical conditions of life in regression, separation, closing of the curtain, and the end of life. It s the adaptation of oneself towards such conditions as retirement, becoming a widow/ widower, the death of close friends and relatives, critical illnesses and death which will finally come to him/her (Janeobrom, 1991). Roy (1991) stated that adaptation is the process in which a person tries to keep in balance with the changing environment. Human beings are living things consisting of body, mind and society which cannot be separated. They are a system that needs to interact with the constantly-changing environment and express it in terms of 4 aspects of adaptation behavior: physical, self-concept, roles and responsibilities, and interdependency. Proper adaptation will make life happy. For the elderly during their retirement, there are a lot of changes in many ways. The changes in physical, mind, and society of the elderly themselves, coupling with the changes in the social and economic conditions usually result in the stress in them. Hence, they need to adapt themselves to face the changes. From previous studies, it was found that self-adaptation in the elderly depends on many factors: positions after the retirement, (Silapakamphiset, 1984), age, gender (Phithakcharoen, 2000), educational level (Munsin, 1993), marital status (Bunchan, 1994). There are also many other factors affecting post-retirement adaptation: health condition, family type, income after retirement, length of time after the retirement, preparation for the retirement, participation in social activities and attitudes towards the retirement. The adaptation of the elderly may not be easy because of the deterioration of the physical conditions, emotion and mind which tends to be on the downside. On the other hand, the adaptation may not be too hard for those who are prepared to become an elderly and understand the nature of development in the old age. (Kaewkangwan, 2002) Hence, it is interesting to study the post-retirement adaptation, factors related to postretirement adaptation and factors affecting post-retirement adaptation of the elderly under Roy s adaptation theory. The factors studied include gender, age, level of education, marital status, health condition, family type, income after retirement, length of time after retirement, positions held before retirement, preparation for the retirement, participation in social activities and attitudes towards retirement. The subjects were retired persons in Muang Municipality, Phattalung Province who were members of the Center for Promoting Wisdom of the Elderly in Phattalung Municipality. The International Conference on Graduate Students Research Work: 2

3 OBJECTIVES 1. To investigate the post-retirement adaptation of the elderly in Muang Municipality, Phattalung Province 2. To investigate the factors related to post-retirement adaptation of the elderly in Muang Municipality, Phattalung Province 3. To study the factors affecting the adaptation of the elderly in Muang Municipality, Phattalung Province RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Population and Subjects The population in this study was retired government servants in Muang Municipality, Phattalung Province who were members of the Center for Promoting Wisdom of the Elderly, Phattalung Province, totaling 528 in all 20 communities (Center for Promoting Wisdom of the Elderly, 2007). The sample size was determine using Yamane s formula (1970), resulting in the total of 230 subjects. This was increased to 300 to cover for the lost and unreturned questionnaires. Subject sampling This was done by simple random sampling according to the subject size and the number of the retired persons who were members of the Center for Promoting Wisdom of the Elderly, Phattalung Province. Two instruments were used in collecting the data. The first one was the questionnaire on personal factors and the second one included 30 items about factors in preparing oneself before retirement, 20 items on participation in social activities, and 10 items attitudes towards retirement. The questions were in three-point rating scale formant. The questionnaire about post-retirement adaptation included Yes or No questions totaling 64 items. The quality of the questionnaire was examined by 3 experts who checked for the content validity. After the improvement of the questionnaire according to comments, it was piloted with 30 elderly in the area not aimed for in the study to check for its reliability. The questionnaire asking about preparing oneself before retirement, participation in social activities, and attitudes towards retirement, and post-retirement adaptation had the α-coefficient of.898,.853,.727 and.823 respectively. Data Analysis and Statistics Used The data collected were analyzed using SPSS for Windows. Frequency, percentage, mean, S.D., were used to explain general characteristics of the subjects, factors in preparation The International Conference on Graduate Students Research Work: 3

4 for the retirement, participation in social activities and attitudes towards retirement. Chisquare was used to analyze factors related to post-retirement adaptation. Multiple regression analysis was also used to analyze the factors which affect the post-retirement adaptation in the process of calculation, some factors were modified in part 1 of the questionnaires in which the measurement scale was set to be a factor in the nominal scale and the ordinal scale was set to be a factor in the interval scale by the use of having a dummy variable. RESULTS The study of 300 subjects found that 51.3% were male with an average age of 65 and 59.3 % were bachelor s degree holders or equivalent. 82% were married and lived with their spouse. Most had minor health problems and 58.7% had to take medicines. 65% were the leaders of the families. 35% had more than 20,000 baht monthly income. 75.7% were in level 5-7 positions before retirement. 75.5% and 47.4% had retired for less than 5 years. The preparation of themselves for the retirement was at an overall medium level ( X = 2.04, S.D.= 0.34). They participated in social activities at a medium level ( X = 2.10, S.D.= 0.31) and their attitudes towards retirement as a whole at a high level ( X = 2.63, S.D.= 0.29). In terms of adaptation, it was found that, most (74.7%) elderly had a high level of adaptation. When considering each aspect, it was found that their adaptation in every aspect was suitable with the adaptation of roles and responsibilities as the highest (99.3%), followed by the interdependency (99%), physical adaptation (94.7%) and self-concept (83.3%) respectively. Factors related to post-retirement adaptation revealed that health condition was significantly related to physical and self-concept at.05. Positions held before retirement was significantly related to self-concept adaptation at.01 and the length of time after retirement was significantly related to physical adaptation at.05. Three factors affecting post-retirement adaptation were found to be able to significantly predict the quality of adaptation at.001. They were health condition, attitudes towards retirement and social activities. Attitudes towards retirement were the most accurate predictor of the post-retirement adaptation (β = 0.363), followed by health conditions (β = 0.168) and social activities (β = 0.117). The International Conference on Graduate Students Research Work: 4

5 DISCUSSION The results can be discussed according to the objectives as follows. Post-retirement adaptation of the elderly The results revealed that most of the elderly (74.7%) had an overall adaptation at a high level. This is probably because they were on average of 65 years old which was still the early age as an elderly so they were still able to do their own chores and they also tended to have fewer problems than those older elderly. This is in concordance with Sinlapakamphiset (1984) who found that those with good health were able to adapt better than those with poor health. Benjakun (1992) also found that the elderly aged between years had a good life pattern, resulting in proper adaptation. Furthermore, in this study, most elderly were in quite a high position before retirement, married and still stayed with their spouse, and took the role of the family leader who were more of the provider. This is in line with Khamnuansin (1980) who found that most elderly were still self-confident, had positive evaluation of self and felt that they were still of value to their children, grandchildren, family and society. For physical adaptation, it was found that most the elderly (94.7%) had proper adaptation because they were still in their early old age with an average of 65 years old. Though there were a lot of changes happening, the condition could still be considered normal. All the systems still worked well so they could do their own chores. This was in concordance with Raya (1994) who found people in their early old age usually could help themselves in everything. This ability to help themselves enabled them to care for their own health properly, resulting in proper physical adaptation. Manit (1999), also found that postretirement physical adaptation of all university lecturers (100%) was proper and Kaewkhao (1996) found that the physical adaptation of the elderly in Muang District, Kamphangphet Province was proper. In terms of self-concept, it was found that most (83.3%) the elderly had proper adaptation of self-concept, probably because they were proud of themselves and felt valuable though after the retirement. If the elderly had positive thinking about themselves, they would have self-confidence and felt valuable. This is in line with Khruangkhamhang (1998) who found that the elderly could adapt a lot in terms of self-concept as well as Khamnuansin (1980) who found that most the elderly still had self-confidence and evaluate themselves positively. They felt that they were still valuable for their children, family and society. Manit (1999) also discovered that % of the university lecturers adapted their self-concept properly because they were in their early old age, still worked and participated in the society. The International Conference on Graduate Students Research Work: 5

6 It was found that 99.3 % of the elderly had appropriate adaptation in their roles and responsibilities. This might be because most of them were married and lived together. They also had the status as the head of the family so they had roles in taking care of their children and grandchildren. This is in concordance with Somphu (1999) who found that the retired elderly could adapt well in their roles and responsibilities in their family. Most of them still lived with their family and kept the roles of parents as used to. This is in line with Manit (1999) who found that post-retirement adaptation in the roles and responsibilities of university lecturers was 100% appropriate and Khaewkhao (1996) who found that the adaptation in roles and responsibilities of the elderly in Muang District, Kamphangphet Province had the highest average score. In terms of interdependency adaptation, it was found that most (99%) of the elderly had proper adaptation. This might be due to the fact that most of them still could do activities by themselves. They were still the head of the family and were in a high position before retirement. These made them feel that they could still help themselves and others. This is in accordance with Manit (1999) who found that post-retirement interdependency adaptation in of university lecturers was appropriate and Khaewkhao (1996) who found that the interdependency adaptation of the elderly in Muang District, Kamphangphet Province was appropriate. Factors related to post-retirement adaptation of the elderly It was found that health condition were related to 2 types of adaptation: physical and self-concept: the elderly with minor health problems and having to take drugs could properly adapt physically and in terms of self-concept. This could be because the unhealthy elderly had more worries than those with good health. Also, when one got older, there were more health problems because of the deterioration of health. Hence, the adaptation to the conditions both within and outside the body was naturally lower. This was in accordance to Bunchan (1994) who found that unhealthy elderly had higher level of worries than the more healthy ones and Sinlapakanphiset (1984) who found that the retired persons with good health would adapt better than those with ill-health. Unnaphirak (1994, quoted in Manit (1999) also found that health conditions were positively related to the confidence in postretirement adaptation. Positions held before retirement were found to have relationship with self-concept adaptation. Most subjects who were in the positions between levels 5-7 before retirement could adapt properly, probably because they received a relatively high pension per month so they can buy necessary things needed in living a life and all facilities. They also had more The International Conference on Graduate Students Research Work: 6

7 choices in caring for their own health, could join more social activities because there were no worries about the expenses. This was in line with Munsin s (1993) finding that government servants with high position were better at post-retirement adaptation than those with low position. Sinlapakamphiset (1984) also found that the retired government servant with the position in level 7-8 could adapt best. Length of time after retirement was found to be related to physical concept adaptation. Those retired for less than 5 years had proper physical concept adaptation probably because they could accept the changes that happened and they still could work and do their own chores. This was in line with Muangsiri (1997) who found that those who had retired for a long time tended to be satisfied with their retirement less than those who had just done. Sinlapakamphiset (1984) also found that the persons who had retired for 0-3 years were able to adapt best. Factors affecting post-retirement adaptation of the elderly Attitudes towards retirement was the factor that could most accurately predict the post-retirement adaptation with β = This meant that the retired persons with high level of attitudes towards retirement would adapt better those with low level of attitude after their retirement. This could be because most elderly felt that after the retirement, they could do what they wished, enjoyed after-the-retirement activities, felt that life in retirement was a happy one. This was in concordance with Yamarat (1984) who found that most elderly had a high level of satisfaction when they still had activities to do, had roles in work and participated in social action a lot. Fonthongmongkhon (1995) also found that positive attitudes towards life after retirement of the elderly had effects on how they lived their lives at present. Health condition had the value of β = which meant that the elderly with minor health problems could adapt better after the retirement than those who had to be in the hospital. This was probably because most the elderly were about 65 years old or in their early old age so they were still healthy and could help themselves. The ability to help themselves made them able to care for their own health, resulting in the proper adaptation. This is in concordance with Beck (1982, quoted in Manit, 1999) who found that poor health affected happiness in life and resulted in improper adaptation. Sinlapakamphiset (1984) also found that the retired persons with good health could adapt better than those with poor health. Social activities was the factor in third place that could be used to forecast the adjustment after retirement, with (β = 0.117). In other words, the elderly who socialized much The International Conference on Graduate Students Research Work: 7

8 would adjust better than the elderly who socialized less after retirement. And, the elderly in this study were members of Elderly Wisdom Promoting Center in Phattalung City in Phattalung Province. At this center, there were activities for senior local people which include recreation activities, social activities and health check-ups. These activities helped the elderly to live with other people well, to be happy and not to be lonely, to realize their own value and to know how to take good care of themselves regarding all the possible illnesses. These things had good results to the elderly, both physically and psychologically. This supports the study of Kanjanakit (1992) which describes that social activities are the activities to help promoting self value and self confidence in the elderly SUMMARY OF THE RESULTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The study titled Factors Affecting Post-Retirement Adaptation of the Elderly in Phattalung Province revealed that most of the elderly had an overall high level of adaptation. Most had proper adaptation in all aspects. Health condition, position held before retirement, and length of time after retirement were related to post-retirement adaptation of the elderly. Factors that could most statistically significantly predict the adaptation of the elderly at.001 were attitudes towards retirement, health condition and social activities. The results indicated factors important to post-retirement adaptation especially attitudes towards retirement which could best predict the adaptation. Hence, in preparing for the retirement, involving agencies should consider this factor. Besides, it was found that the retired persons who were members of the Center for Wisdom Promotion for the Elderly, Phattalung Province adapted well. Thus, the way in adaptation and how they led their life in the society should be studied and adapted for use in planning to properly help the retired person in the future. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I am very grateful for the consult, guidance, and assistance of Dr. Kanda Janyam, supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Sujitra Jorajit, co-supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Cholada Phanthusena and Assoc. Prof. Raphiphan Suwannatthachote, Ed.D. the examining committee, who helped make this thesis possible. I would like to express my deepest and sincere gratitude to them all here. I would like to thank Assoc. Prof. Raphiphan Suwannatthachote and Assoc. Prof. Cholada Phanthusena, Ms. Orasa Laocharoensuk for their help in validating and checking the research instruments and all the Department of Foundation Education staff and personnel who had continually given knowledge, guidance and support. The International Conference on Graduate Students Research Work: 8

9 Sincere gratitude is also directed towards the Head of Community Public Health Service Center, Muang Municipality, Phattalung Province who gave the permission for data collection. I would like to thank my warm family parents, uncle, aunt and elder brother who encouraged, helped and supported me all through and also all friends who gave great moral support. Any benefits that this study might yield, I would like to return them to my parents and all my teachers. Lastly, I would like to thank Faculty of Liberal Arts and the Graduate School, Prince of Songkla University who financially support of the expenses in doing this thesis. REFERENCE Andrews, H.A., Roy, S.C. (1991) The Roy adaptation model: The definitive statement. Norwalk: Appleton & Lange Benjakun, W. (1992). Relationships among the Elderly Personal Factors, Social Support, and Life Pattern. Unpublished M.Sc. (Medicine and Surgical Nursing) Thesis. Graduate School, CMU. Bunchan, B. (1994). A Comparative Study of Prepared and Unprepared Teachers before Retirement. Unpublished M.Ed. Thesis, KKU. Center for Wisdom Promotion for the Elderly, Phatthalung Municipality (2007). Fonthongkham, R. (1995). Government Servants Post-Retirement Life: Bangkok Government Servant Pensioners. Unpublished M.A. (Social Works) Thesis. Faculty of Social Works, TU. Jane-obrom, S. (1991). The Elderly Science. Bangkok: CU. Kanjanakit, S. (1992). Community and school recreation. Bangkok: CU. Khaewkangwan, S. (2002). All Age Range of Life Developmental Psychology. (8 th printing). Bangkok: TU Printing. Khaewkhao, T. (1996). Adaptation of the Elderly in Kamphangphet Province. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis (Medical and Surgical Nursing), CMU. Khamnuansin, P. et al. (1980). Being Up-to-date, Self-concept and Some Problems of the Elderly. Research Report, NIDA. Khruangkhamhaeng. P (1998) Factors Affecting the Adaptation of the Elderly at Center to Promote the Elderly Health, Boromrajchonnane Nursing College. Research Report. Phutthachinnaraj: Boromrajchonnane Nursing College. The International Conference on Graduate Students Research Work: 9

10 Manit, P. (1999) Retired Educational Institution Teaching Staff Adaptation, Chiang Mai Province. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis (Elderly Nursing Care), CMU. Muangsiri, S. (1997) Satisfaction in Retirement: A Case Study of Ministry of Education Pensioners. Unpublished M.A. in Sociology and Humanities Thesis Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, TU. Munsin, P. (1993) Factors Affecting the Elderly Post-retirement Adaptation. Nursing Journal. 43(2) Phithakcharoen, P. (2000) Mind Types and Situations Related to Mind and Mental Behavior of the Elderly Government Servants. Unpublished M.A. Thesis Faculty of Social Development, NIDA. Raya, T. (1994). Evaluation of the Capability in Living their Everyday Life of the Elderly at Tambon Mae Rim Nua, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai Province. Independent Study in M. Sc. (Public Health). Graduate School, CMU. Sinlapakamphiset, K. (1984) Factors Affecting Government Retirees Adaptation in Muang and Hat Yai Districts, Songkhla Province. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis (Public Health) Public Health Nursing Major, M.U. Somphu, J. (1999) Government Retirees Roles and Responsibilities Adaptation. Boromrajchonnanee Journal. 11(1) Yamarat, K. (1984). Old People s Satisfaction: A Case Study of Government Pensioners, Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. Unpublished M. Soc. Sci. and Humanities Thesis. Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, T.U. Yamane, T. (1970) Statistics-an Introductory Analysis (2 nd ed). New York, NY: Harter & Row The International Conference on Graduate Students Research Work: 10

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