The roles of a Grandmother in African societies – please do not send them to old people’s homes
New Publication by Janet Michel et al. inclusive co-author Piet van Eeuwijk
Populations around the world are rapidly ageing. Ageing presents both challenges and opportunities. Societies that adapt to this changing demographic and invest in Healthy Ageing can enable individuals to live both longer and healthier lives and for societies to reap the dividends. 80% of people over 60 will live in low- and middle-income countries by 2050. In Africa, old age is a social category experienced in relation to other generations, especially to youth while as in Europe old peoples’ homes have been established and more or less accepted as the living arrangement for the elderly. This is however without draw backs. Though moving into a nursing home is an individual experience, people who move into a nursing home experience different types of changes which they feel to a greater or lesser degree as stressful. The change in social status, the impact on autonomy, the feeling of having no place to call home, the change in social contacts, and the reduction of habitual activities rank first in the presentation of the results and endanger the people’s identity which they had before. Nursing home residents have experiences which they perceive as compulsive and degrading.