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


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.

Share and Cite:

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.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Patton, M.C. (2002) Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. 3rd Edition, Sage, Thousand Oaks.
[2] Brown, K. (2006) Work Place Law Competence Survey—Definition of A Competent Health and Safety Person. Work Law Network.
[3] The Problems Elderly People Face. Thesaurus Dictionary. (n.d.)
[4] Watson, M. (2006) Respect Is a Two-Way Thing… If Respect Is Given I Give Respect Back. Western Mail, Cardiff.
[5] Samchar, K., Ahmedabad and Gandhingar (2010) Our Elderly. Motilal Anand Vaishnavi.
[6] Flori, D.E. (2013) Care Giving for the Elderly. United Kingdom.
[7] Clarke, M.J. (2008) Community Health Nursing: Advocacy for Population Health. 5th Edition, Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River.
[8] Serafin, J. (2010) How Often Should Elderly Bath.
[9] Guinn, M.J. (2004) A Daughter’s Journey Promoting Geriatric Self-Care: Promoting Positive Healthcare Interactions. Geriatric Nursing, 25, 267-271.
[10] Burns, N. and Grove, S.K. (2005) The Practice of Nursing Research: Conduct, Critique &Utilization. 3rd Edition, W.B. Saunder, London.
[11] Beauchamp, T.L. and Childress, J.F. (2001) Principles of Biomedical Ethics. 5th Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
[12] Earle, S., Lloyd, C.E., Sidell, M. and Spurr, S. (2007) Theory Research in Promoting Public Health. Sage, London.
[13] Brink, H., Van Der Walt, C. and Van Rensburg, G. (2006) Fundamentals of Research Methodology for Health Care Professionals. 2nd Edition, Juta, Cape Town.
[14] Cormack, D.F.S. (1997) The Research Process in Nursing. 3rd Edition, Marston, Abingdon.
[15] Khosravani, S., Manoochehri, H. and Memarian, R. (2005) Developing Critical Thinking Skills in Nursing Students by Group. The Internet Journal of Advanced Nursing Practice, 7, 3.
[16] Goman, G.E. and Clayton, P. (2005) Qualitative Research for the Information Professionals: A Practical Handbook. 2nd Edition, Facet, London.
[17] Levy, S.R. and Killen, M. (2010) Intergroup Attitudes and Relations in Childhood through Adulthood. Oxford Press, New York.
[18] Dhai, A. and McQuoid-Mason, D. (2010) Bioethics, Human Rights and Law, Principles and Practice. Juta Academic, UK.
[19] Stevans, J.A., Hasbrouck, L.M., Durant, T.M. and Dellinger, A.M. (2004) Surveillance for Injuries and Violence among Older Adults. Morbidity and Mortality. Weekly Report, 48, 27-50.
[20] Gillham, B. (2005) Research Interviewing. The Range of Techniques. Open University Press, Poland.
[21] Thesaurus Dictionary. (n.d.) Angry.
[22] Hughes Amani. Elderly in South Africa. Noah Abeacon of Hope. Cape Chameleon. Current Issue Number 13.
[23] Kgomotso, Q.M. (2009) Adherence and Non-Adherence to Antiretroviral Treatment in HIV Positive People in Port Elizabeth: Faculty of Health Science Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
[24] Mills, S. (2003) Gender and Politeness. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
[25] Mogotlane, S.M., Manaka-Mkwananzi, I., Makoena, J.D., Chauke, M.E. and Young, A. (2004) Juta’s Manual of Nursing Volume 2: Practical Manual. Juta and Geriatrics, Cape Town.
[26] Carducci, B. (2000) Shyness. The New Solution. Psychology Today.
[27] Stanhope, M. and Lancaster, J. (2006) Foundations of Nursing in the Community. Community-Oriented Practice. Mosby, St Louis.
[28] Dolon, D. and Holt, L. (2000) Accident and Emergency Theory in to Practice.
[29] Smith, K.V. and Godfrey, N.S. (2002) Being a Good Nurse and Doing the Right Thing: A Qualitative Study. Nursing Ethics, 9, 301-312.
[30] Holtzblatt, K., Wendell, J.B. and Wood, S. (2005) Rapid Contextual Design: A How-To Guide to Key Techniques for User-Centered Design. Morgan-Kaufmann, San Francisco.
[31] Chabeli, M.M. (2003) Health Care Needs of Older People Living Permanently in a Residential Home Setting in Gauteng. Department of Nursing Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg
[32] Cawthorne, A. (2008) Elderly poverty. The Challenge before Us. alexandra.html
[33] Mollenkopf, H. and Marcellino, F. (2005) Outdoor Mobility and Social Relationships of Elderly People. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 24, 295-310.
[34] Chang, C.M. (2005) Use of the Beers Criteria to Predict Adverse Drug Reaction.>Pharmacotherapy>Research
[35] Soanes, C., Hawker, S. and Elliot, J. (2005) Pocket Oxford Dictionary. 10th Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
[36] Jooste, K. (2003) Leadership in Health Service Management. Juta, Lansdowne.
[37] McDougall, P., Hymel, S., Vaillancourt, T. and Mercer, L. (2001) The Consequences of Childhood Rejection. In: Leary, M.R., Ed., Interpersonal Rejection, Oxford University Press, New York, 213-247.
[38] Hurd, J. (2007) What Exercises Are Suitable for Elderly People… You Need to Know.
[39] Hornby, A.S. (2006) Advanced Oxford Dictionary. 7th Edition, Oxford University Press Inc., New York.
[40] National Planning Commission (1997) OPCIT Midterm Report Review. NDP: Report.
[41] Thesaurus Dictionary (n.d.) Patience.
[42] Department of Labour Occupational Safety Health Administration.
[43] McGilton, K., Soren-Peters, R., Sidane, S., Rochon, E., Boscart, V. and Fox, M. (2010) Focus on Communication: Increasing the Opportunity for Successful Staff-Patient Interactions. International Journal of Older People Nursing, 6, 13-24.
[44] Baldwin, J.R. and Hanel, P. (2003) Innovation and Knowledge Creation in an Open Economy. Canadian Industry and International Implications. Press Syndicate, Cambridge University, Cambridge.
[45] Tanner, E. (2004) Chronic Illness Demands for Self-Management in Older Adults. Geriatric Nursing, 25, 313-317.
[46] Burress, L. (2008) How to Care for an Elderly Parent.
[47] McGarry, J. (2009) Relationship between Nurses and Older People within the Home: Exploring the Boundaries of Care. International Journal of Older People Nursing, 5, 265-273.
[48] Lindeberg, S. (2010) Food and Western Disease: Health and Nutrition from an Evolutionary Perspective. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.
[49] Williams, K.D., Forgas, J.P. and Von Hippel, W. (2005) The Social Outcast: Ostracism, Social Exclusion, Rejection, and Bullying. Psychology Sydney Press, Sydney, 366 p.
[50] Common Chronic Conditions in Ageing at Home (2010).
[51] Schneider, Z., Elliott, D., Wood, G.L. and Haber, J. (2003) Nursing Research. 2nd Edition, South Woods Press, New Zealand.
[52] Encarta Dictionary: Caregiver North America Accessed (08/09/2009)
[53] Goodheart (2010) What Is Hospice and Palliative Care? Health Care Plus, Corporation Northwest WY. Palatine, 1L60067. Poverty, Independence and the World’s Older People. Earthscan, London.
[54] Pusari, N.D. (1998) Eight “Cs” of Caring: A Holistic Framework for Nursing Terminally Ill Patients. Contemporary Nurse, 7, 156-160.
[55] Bandman, E.L., and Bandman, B. (1995) Nursing Ethics through the Life Span. 3rd Edition, Appleton & Langa, Norwalk.
[56] Leedy, P.D. and Ormond, J.E. (2001) Practical Research Planning and Design. 7th Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River.
[57] Smith-Nonini, S. (2010) Healing the Body Politic. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick.
[58] Reid, K. (2013) Care for the Elderly Critical. Windhoek Observer.
[59] Arthur, D., Pang, S. and Wong, T. (2011) Evidence for Caring Behaviour.
[60] Encarta Dictionary: Elderly Accessed (08/09/2009). North America.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.