Elderly living with diabetes in Indonesia

Hema Malini, Beverley Copnell, Cheryle Moss

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Little is known about how elderly people with type 2 diabetes in Indonesia respond to and live with their disease. In this paper reports on perceptions and actions of some elderly Indonesians in relation to living with their disease. To do this, convenience sampling was used. Elderly people with diabetes who volunteered to participate in a diabetes education program (offered as a trial in three community health centers in Indonesia) were recruited pre-education to attend a focus group interview and complete a demographic survey. Participants (n=45) had a mean (SD) age of 60.78 years; 40 had experienced hospitalization (diabetes related) and 24.4 of participants had been hospitalized because of blood glucose level (hypo/hyperglycemia). The focus group interview revealed that symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, and changes in vision had led to health assessments and diagnosis of diabetes. Participants reported having limited opportunities post-diagnosis to attend diabetes education programs. Because of these limitations and limited health professional support, most of the participants had resorted to alternative medicine to manage their conditions. Alternative treatments used by the participants included herbal medicines, ion therapy, and `traditional? medications. These findings suggest that there is need for systematic assessment of the knowledge and self?treatment strategies that elderly people in Indonesia may be using to manage their diabetes. Service gap analysis and the potential benefits of structured diabetes education programs for newly diagnosed elderly persons should be assessed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37 - 45
Number of pages9
JournalThe International Journal of Aging and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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