Household Care- Giving Practices to the Phase Three Older Persons in Kirinyaga County, Kenya.

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Murage, Beth Wangithi
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Kenyatta University
The population of the older persons is increasing steadily worldwide. This is secondary to lower fertility rate and increasing longer life. With the increased older person‟s population, societies get challenges taking care of the health function of older people. The growth in older person‟s population comes with the challenges of taking care of the older persons. As old age sets in, quality of life goes down. With reduced income generation, most of the older persons lack power to access basic needs resulting to poor health status. This study was meant to establish house hold care-giving practices to the phase three older persons in Kirinyaga County. Phase three (75 years and above) is a stage of older persons care when the older person‟s function starts going down and becomes partially dependent on the care giver. This is because the old is trying to cope with multiple disabilities and chronic pain and at this point, they accept outside care givers and relatives to assist them with activities of daily living. Population Based cross-sectional descriptive study was used. Multi-stage sampling method was applied to select participating units starting with Sub County, wards, and then villages. Households with an older person(s) were selected and formed a sampling frame. Systematic random sampling using the sampling frame formed was used at household level to select 333 participating respondents. Where a household had more than one older person, the head of the household or the oldest one was selected. A questionnaire with details of house hold care- giving practices and socio- demographic information was used. Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 25 was used for data analysis. Descriptive analysis was used for social –demographic characteristics. Testing the association between independent variables and dependent variables was done using Chi-square and Odds Ratio was used. The respondents were aged between 75 years to 99 years, the mode was 75 years, median 78.00 years and the mean age was 79.64 ± 2.28. Age of the older persons respondents (p=0.0001), education (p=0.046), walking with support (p=0.001) and occupation (p=0.020) were significantly associated with caregiving in personal hygiene practices. Most of respondents 100 (30.0%) carried out daily activity by themselves, equally by the relative especially on bathing 182(54.7%) and attending medical appointments 107(32.1%). Slightly more than half 187 (56.2%) of older persons received monthly social cash transfer from the government and older persons who walked with support had strong significant association (p=0.0001) and were 0.4 times more likely to receive government support. Care-giving practices and interventions in place to support older person‟s well-being play a significant role in enhancing the well-being of older persons in Kirinyaga County. Thus, there is need for stakeholders including the government through Nutrition and Health promotion division, community and family members to ensure that the older persons feed well; care givers including spouse, children, relatives, friends and volunteers need to start taking care of the older persons.
A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of the Degree of Master of Public Health (Epidemiology and Disease Control) in the School of Public Health and Applied Human Science of Kenyatta University, April 2022
Household Care- Giving Practices, Phase Three, Older Persons, Kirinyaga County, Kenya