Family-Based Old-Age Care in Arab Countries: Between Tradition and Modernity

  • Abla Mehio Sibai
  • Rouham Yamout


One primary feature of Arab countries is a social culture based on Islamic values and principles, shaping a well-defined intergenerational support system. Prescribed by the Islamic code of conduct, promoted by stakeholders and the law and internalized by the individuals, the family continues to be the cornerstone for the support of older people. Yet, family cohesion cannot be assumed as secure in face of new demographic, social and economic realities as well as emerging health needs, undermining its efficacy and efficiency.

This chapter explores trends in ageing and older-adult care in Arab societies in the context of significant recent changes in procreation and family formation and composition. Because improvements in life expectancy have preceded the decline in fertility, accelerated ageing of the population in the Arab region over the coming decades is imminent. Governments should therefore review their social and health policies and pay greater attention to the growing needs of their ageing populations while capitalizing on existing systems of cultural capital and social resources.


Saudi Arabia Arab Country Gulf Cooperation Council Arab Region Arab Society 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology & Population HealthAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon

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