Socio-economic challenges facing elderly persons in Kiandutu Slum, Thika town, Kiambu County, Kenya.
Njenga, Margaret M.
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The main objective of the study was to .investigate the socio-economic challenges facing the elderly persons in Kiandutu slum, Thika Town in Kiambu County, Kenya. Ageing population has been increasing tremendously in the entire World, causing changes in demographic structure. United Nation estimates the elderly people worldwide to be 2 billion by 2050.The literature review revealed a gap with respect to socio-economic challenges facing the elderly persons in slum context in Kenya. The study identified the socio-economic challenges facing elderly persons in Kiandutu slum in Thika Town, Kiambu County, Kenya. The researcher used descriptive research design in order to gain deeper understanding of the challenges facing the elderly persons. The researcher used disengagement, age stratification and labeling theories. The target populations were the elderly persons aged 60 years and above from Kiandutu slum. Respondents were sampled using purposive and snowballing techniques. The study was based on a sample of 52 elderly persons from Kiandutu slum. Of the total sample, 71.2% were females while 28.8% were males. Information was collected using questionnaires, interview schedules, Focus Group Discussions guide (FGDs) and observation checklist. Key informants including area chief and council of elders were interviewed. FGDs were held with religious leaders and Kiangongo self-help group officials. The data was analyzed using quantitative and qualitative techniques. Chi-square test was used to determine the association of variables with respect to socio-economic challenges facing the elderly persons. The quantitative data was analyzed with the aid of Statistics Packages of Social Sciences (SPSS). The key findings from this study indicate that the elderly persons are faced by various socio-economic challenges such as poverty, health, housing, mobility, HIV and AIDS, isolation and neglect among others. The study also revealed low coverage of the Old Persons Cash Transfer Program (OPCTP) in Kiandutu slum. The findings of the study will be significant to the Kiambu County Government, various stakeholders and entire society. The study concludes that nationally concrete policies on the elderly person welfare are required. The study recommends that policies and programs aimed to empower the elderly persons should be established to enable them cater for their needs independently. Geriatric care should be incorporated in all the , hospitals and the dispensaries for accessibility to all elderly persons. Health facilities should be well equipped with medicines and treatments for the elderly persons should be free like the maternal care.