An investigation of quality of life of the elderly in South Africa, with specific reference to Mpumalanga province
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This paper is based on a research study that investigated the quality of life of elderly persons (aged 60 years and over) in South Africa in the wake of population aging, HIV/AIDS, the process of modernization which ushered in new challenges and the legacy of apartheid. A combination of all these factors among others has played a major role in lowering the quality of life of senior citizens in South Africa. For effective measurement purposes, a conceptual framework of broad categories of quality of life indicators for this proportion of the population are identified as: household structure, social inclusion, care of older persons and care burden on the
elderly. Under these broad categories we investigate such specific indicators as: general health; satisfaction with basic needs of food, clothing and housing; emotional well-being; and their environmental harmony regarding access to amenities of transport, sanitation, safe water and security. The influence of socio-demographic factors on the above indicators is also examined. The long- term goal of the study is to provide guidance for more creative policies including strategies of poverty reduction, housing older people in a dignified way and providing a wide range of options that facilitate healthy aging, in so doing, catering for the best interests and needs of senior citizens in South Africa.
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