A preparatory study of care for elderly women in rural Kenya
Ageing is a global phenomenon, and sub-Saharan African countries will be no exception; however, no political framework for longterm care (LTC) for the elderly has been established as yet. Moreover, very little research on ageing has been carried out. Hence, the main purpose of this study is to illustrate the life of old women in Kwale County, Kenya, focusing on care. This study was conducted mainly in 2016 and 2017 for several weeks using basic information from the HDSS in Kwale, as well as interviews with 30 informants (elderly women) as the preparatory study for a future interdisciplinary research project on ageing. There are very few studies on aging or care for the elderly in Kenya. Some previous ethnographies have described old people in powerful positions and were focused on male issues. Therefore, we have focused on women and care. This study has yielded three key findings: (1) gender issues: most caregivers for old women are also women, such as daughters and daughters-in-law; (2) social change: some older females live alone without enough support from their own children; and (3) there is not enough medical support: some old women are bedridden and have serious health problems, but they do not receive special attention, compared to younger patients.
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