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The Experiences of the Elderly and Caregivers in Respect of Caring for the Elderly in Windhoek and Rehoboth Namibia: An Exploratory and Descriptive Study

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DOI: 10.4236/ojn.2015.53029    4,148 Downloads   4,898 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

In many instances, care for the elderly, especially in long-term care institutions, is provided under minimal supervision by caregivers who are lay people. This can lead to poor quality care or neglect of the elderly. The research question was: “How competent are lay caregivers for the elderly in old age homes, who often lack the opportunity for training to improve their knowledge and skills, in delivering care to the elderly? The aims of the study were to explore and describe the experiences of both the caregivers and the elderly in respect of caring for the elderly in old age homes. The objectives of the study were to explore and describe the experiences of the caregivers and the elderly with respect to caring for the elderly and in respect of nursing care they received. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive, contextual and phenomenology design was used to perform this study. In the situational analysis, the experiences and needs of the caregivers were described. Themes in terms of interpersonal relationships that could be positive or negative regarding the elderly were identified. These included lack of regular in-service training sessions for caregivers. Likewise, sub-themes like communication, support and caring for elderly people were revealed. Inadequate knowledge of caregivers in caring procedures, a shortage of staff, equipment and absence of policies which should support and guide the work of caregivers impacts negatively on the care of the elderly. From the experiences of the elderly and caregivers, the competencies under scrutiny emerged and were measured qualitatively by the perceptions of the elderly, in respect of the caring they were exposed to.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Kloppers, J. , Dyk, A. and Pretorius, L. (2015) The Experiences of the Elderly and Caregivers in Respect of Caring for the Elderly in Windhoek and Rehoboth Namibia: An Exploratory and Descriptive Study. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 246-259. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.53029.

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