Coping Resources and Psychological Adjustment of Thai Older Adults with Chronic Illness and the Role of Caregivers in Thailand's Changing Society

[Speaker] Sirikantraporn, Skultip:1
[Co-author] Tuicomepee, Arunya:2, Wongsinudom, Piyapat:2, Detamornrat, Pattanaporn:2, Yaimanee, Pagorn:2
1:Alliant International University (United States of America), 2:Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)

There is considerable interest in how Thai elders and their caregivers adjust to aging with chronic illness in a rapidly changing Thai society. Traditionally, many Thai elders live with family members, and play a very significant role in their family, including being their spiritual anchor and a source of wisdom. However, the perceived "good family" is being challenged by new societal values. Thai society has become increasingly capitalistic, resulting in behavioral changes in its people that center around consumption/materialism, which in turn affect the adjustment among elders and their caregivers. Little is known about how Thai elders and their caregivers cope with the elders' chronic illness. This study aims to explore specifically these changes in Thai society with the focus on geriatric mental health, coping, and caregiving practices. We examine resources, such as hope/optimism, religiosity/spirituality, socialization, caregiving, gratitude, and their relationship to the elders' overall psychological health, and Buddhist-based happiness.
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