Most Taiwanese over the age of 55 have a general sense of well-being, Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) said yesterday, citing the results of a recent poll.
The poll, conducted by Hsuan Chuang University on behalf of the Ministry of Education, showed that 80 percent of respondents in the over-55 age group were happy and contented with their lives, Wu said.
Wu attributed this in part to social stability, the nation’s welfare and senior care policies, as well as learning opportunities — all of which contribute to satisfaction among senior citizens.
Analyzing the poll results, Hsuan Chuang University professor Huang Fu-shun said that senior citizens who take active part in learning or volunteer activities are usually happier than those who do not.
Huang, a professor at the university’s Department of Adult Education and Human Resource Development, said elderly people who maintain close relationships with their children and grandchildren are also happier than those who do not.
The ministry, in collaboration with colleges around the nation, has been opening special learning and study programs for senior citizens.
Approval was given this year for 56 universities to open 77 classes for more than 2,000 senior students around the country. The program also allows older people who have never attended college to experience campus life, the ministry said.
Taiwan is fast becoming an aged society, with the percentage of citizens aged over 65 making up 10.72 percent of the population as of October.