Preparation for Healthy Aging among Chinese Adults in Hong Kong: An Exploration of the Belief and Practice

Monday, 7 July 2008: 11:10 AM
Linda Y. K. Lee, PhD, RN , School of Science & Technology, The Open University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Rocky Y. K. Fan, PhD , School of Science & Technology, The Open University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Learning Objective 1: describe the preparation of healthy ageing among Chinese adults.

Learning Objective 2: evaluate the cultural influence on Chinese adults’ preparation of healthy ageing.

Ageing population is a pressing phenomenon in many areas of the world. In Hong Kong, the proportion of population aged 65 and over is projected to rise from 11.7% in 2003 to 27% in 2033 (Census and Statistics Department, 2004). It is acknowledged that preparation for healthy ageing can release the future problem and a good preparation should begin well before the later life. Nevertheless, empirical evidence on the belief and practice about preparation of healthy ageing among adults is limited.

This qualitative exploratory study investigated the preparation of healthy ageing among Chinese adults in Hong Kong. A purposive sample of twelve Chinese adults who will be in the elder group in the 2030s was invited to participate in semi-structured interviews. An objective of the interviews was to explore the participants' belief on the ways for preparing a healthy ageing and the preparatory work that they have actually performed. The interview data were recorded, transcribed, and coded for thematic analysis.

Results revealed a significant discrepancy between the belief and practice about one's preparation of healthy ageing. Participants generally believed that the preparation needed to be multidimensional in nature including the physical, psychological, social, and financial aspects. They were also aware that the preparatory work should begin at the adult age. However, many of them were not actively preparing for their ageing owing to a number of immediate, perceptual and contextual factors. The Chinese cultural influence on their belief and practice was highlighted.

To address the potentially marked impact of the ageing population, a better understanding and practice about preparation for healthy ageing should be advocated. The results of this study provide valuable implications to both individuals and the society for preparing a healthy aged population.


Census and Statistics Department (2004). Hong Kong in Figures. Hong Kong: Government Printer.