The population of older American Muslims is growing and increasingly needs assistance with home care, transportation, and maintaining their physical health—three factors critical to their physical quality of life.
Past generations were able to directly care for their elders. Due to changing lifestyles and family structures, longer life spans, and the rise of chronic disease, direct care of parents and other elders is not always possible. Some older American Muslims realize this and are willing to explore formal care options. However, the options that exist currently are not always culturally sensitive to the needs of older American Muslims.
Some mosques are willing to create programs for seniors spiritually and socially, which would enhance their emotional health and well-being. However, community will and prioritization on aging have been low, and they are generally not prepared to serve the needs of older American Muslims.
Mosque leaders would like individuals, families, and the community to converse openly about aging and to look beyond the mosque to fulfill the care-related needs of older American Muslims. In many cases, caring for the older population is limited to caring for one’s parents. Islam, however, strongly guides the community to care for all elders. Knowing this and that the population of older American Muslims is increasing, proactively and systematically addressing their needs is critical.
This study initiated inquiry into the dynamics of aging Muslim families in the United States. Through multiple modes of data collection, this study yielded results that raised important issues faced by all of the Muslim families surveyed, as well as aspects that may be prevalent depending on ethnic group or immigrant status. Findings will help stakeholders in the Muslim community to direct their attention to key areas as they support the needs of a growing population of older adults.
Demographic shifts in the U.S. as well as globally have made aging an issue of high interest, yet little is known about the realities of Muslim experiences. And despite Islam’s strong and clear emphasis on caring for older adults, American Muslim communities have not developed...
Demographic shifts in the U.S. as well as globally have made aging an issue of high interest, yet little is known about the realities of Muslim experiences. To this end, ISPU Scholar Kristine Ajrouch, using a multi-method approach, including focus group discussions with older adults...
Fellow, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding
Communication & Creative Media Specialist, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding