Caring for the Aged in old people's Homes in Zambia:Implications for adult education programmes

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Changala, Moses
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The University of Zambia
The study sought to examine the care provided to the aged in old people’s homes in Zambia and implications for Adult Education programmes. The objectives of the study were to establish factors that led to the aged moving to old people’s homes in Zambia, assess services provided to the aged in old people’s homes in Zambia, identify challenges faced by the aged in old people’s homes in Zambia, ascertain challenges faced by caregivers in old people’s homes in Zambia and establish the extent to which adult education programmes were provided in old people’s homes in Zambia. The study was carried out in all 9 old people’s homes in the country. Activity and continuity theories provided the theoretical framework for the study. The study used the descriptive survey research design. The sample for the study was 201 respondents, consisting of 165 aged persons in old people’s homes, 17 caregivers, 3 officers in the Social Welfare, Planning and Training units of the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health headquatres, 5 Provincial Social Welfare Officers, 8 District Social Welfare Officers, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Welfare of the National Assembly of Zambia and 2 officers from the Senior Citizens Association of Zambia. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview schedules and an observation checklist. The study used descriptive or summary statistics to analyse numerical data. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 20 was used to process descriptive statistics and present data using frequency tables, percentages and graphs. Non-numerical data was analysed thematically by identifying common themes and presented using key concepts and narrations. The study established that the major factors that contributed to the aged moving to old people’s homes in Zambia included lack of family members, abandonment related to illness and old age, destitution, harassment and disability. The main services provided to the aged in old people’s homes included food, shelter, health care, clothing, entertainment, religious and spiritual support and counselling. The study revealed that from the perspective of most of the aged, the care provided in old people’s homes was generally adequate. However, from the perspective of caregivers, provincial and district social welfare officers as well as observations by the researcher, the care provided was generally inadequate.
Social Services-Zambia , Old Aged Homes-Economic Aspects-Zambia , Old Age Assistance-Zambia , Older people--Social Conditions--Zambia