Effects of Social Change on the Welfare of the Elderly in Chuka Division in Tharaka/Nithi County in Kenya
Prof. Mbugua, Zachariah Kariuki
Rinkanya, Phinius Muriungi
Bururia, David Nyaga
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Elderly persons are an integral part of the population in the society and the process of aging becomes a challenge to them, who, if not assisted to fit in old age, would sulk and suffer low esteem. The elderly can equally perform very important roles in society when they are given an enabling environment. The main objective of this study was to find out the effect of social change on the welfare of the elderly in terms of health services, transport services and in storied buildings. The study was conducted in Chuka division which was purposively selected because it manifested characteristics common in many other parts of the Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. A total of 292 elderly persons were selected using stratified random sampling. This formed 10% of the total population of the elderly in the division. In addition to the above respondents, 24 care-givers were conveniently sampled and interviewed at Chuka Level Five Hospital. Data was collected using an interview schedules for the elderly and for the Chuka General Hospital Medical Officer, and a questionnaire for the care– givers. Data obtained showed that social change has had negative effects on the welfare of the elderly; the services given by the care-givers were below their expectation, the elderly go through numerous challenges as they access services. There should be concerted effort to give the elderly people sufficient assistance as they age; the youth who form the majority of the care-givers should be made aware of the needs of the elderly through organized guidance and counseling sessions and the government pension scheme should be extended to cover all the elderly persons in Kenya.