“The dream is to have a Taylor’s Model of how elderlies should plan for their Golden Years.. There isn’t enough attention or study towards the challenges and problems that would arise with an ageing community..” said Emeritus Professor P. T. Thomas, Team Leader for Flagship Programme: Ageing & Quality of Life.
With Dreams and passions, Professor Thomas is leading the flagship programme at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Taylor’s University with the aim to understand the psychosocial aspects of ageing and the influences of culture, physical and social activities. His group also wants to identify the causes of financial pressures in the elderly. As we retire, without realizing, we may probably be spending more money on miscellaneous items because every day is a weekend for many of us. This is why we have to prepare for our older years – To plan strategies to prevent or mitigate any financial pressures so that they will be dealt with early. The most flourishing, idyllic and outstanding period of our life should be our retirement years or more appropriately termed the golden age.
This period of our lives should be when we experience the most peace, prosperity, happiness, contentment and times of relaxation. However, retirement, if not planned correctly, can be a time of great challenge – physically, mentally and financially. It is said that a country becomes an ageing nation when 15% of the population is above the age of 60 years. Malaysia is expected to become one by the year 2030 when we would have more retired Malaysians an an increasingly ageing population. Fret not; an agein nationa is not something to be mourned. Rather it should be celebrated. The predicaments of an ageing population specifically in Malaysia, requires rethinking on many issues such as financial and physical independence, social networks, chronic medical problems and family support system. This is impetus for the Ageing and Quality of Life Flagship Research Programme at Taylor’s.