The proposed project is to create an age-friendly environment in the form of setting elder support multi service centers. These centers will ensure that the senior citizens in the area get proper health care, support and also get suitable opportunities for their overall well being.
Globally, people are living longer. It is for the first time in the history of mankind, that most people have a life expectancy of above sixty years. Demographic research suggests that at the beginning of the 19th century, almost all the countries in the world had a life expectancy of 40 years. With the improvement in healthcare and socio-economic development across the world, the global life expectancy has increased from 29 years (1770) to 73 years (2019). Chart below represents the changes in life expectancy in the different regions of the world.
Development in most regions over the last 50 years has led to an increase in life expectancy which has further led to a rapid change in the demographics of populations around the world. The proportion of older people has increased substantially and is expected to further increase in the next few decades. In 2020, the global population aged 60 years and over (older persons) is over 1 billion people, representing 13.5% of the world’s population of 7.8 billion. Studies further predict that by 2050, the world’s population aged 60 years and older is expected to total 2 billion, up from 900 million in 2015.
Growing old is a life course and the number of years added to one’s life gives people the opportunity to explore new activities and contribute to social and family life. Ageing people can be an important resource for the development of a community/society if they age in a healthy manner.
The trend of an ageing society is a blessing and a cause of celebration, but at the same time also presents several challenges both for the elderly and for the society. It is a well documented fact that with age there occur several physiological changes that make the older people vulnerable to chronic diseases and make them dependent. WHO studies revealed that most of the people above the age of 60 years face age related problems like losses in hearing, seeing and moving. Some old people also go through conditions like disability, dementia, heart disease, chronic heart disease, musculoskeletal conditions, diabetes etc. Some of the problems that old people face across the globe are:
- Access to proper health care
- Lack of age appropriate environment
- Negative attitude from relatives and family
- Financial dependence
Kenya has also shown significant improvement in the life expectancy of its people. According to the Kenya National Population and Housing Census Report 2009, Kenyan population of persons aged 60 years and above was about 1.5 million, representing 4% of Kenya’s total population of 38.6 million people. About 68% percent of older people are between the age of 65 and 75. This is estimated to go up by 2050.Traditionally, the extended families took the responsibility of taking care of the ageing people, but with changing times, changing family structure and the impacts of HIV/AIDS pandemic has left many of elderly persons to fend for themselves without traditional family support and financial resources.
Our past work in the project site shows that most elderly persons in the area face one or all of the following issues:
- Extreme Poverty due to lack of income
- Lack of adequate food
- Access to proper health care
- Inadequate shelter
- Poor or no emotional support
- Lack of socialization/networking
- Elderly Killing
Considering that the elderly population is going to increase in the future, it is important that suitable measures are adopted to give the elderly a life of dignity. There is a need to understand, design, and implement a person-centred and coordinated model of care for the elderly. In our efforts to help the ageing population in Kwale County, Kenya, the ABC Trust is submitting a proposal titled “ To establish Elderly Support Multi Service Centers for the support and welfare of senior citizens in Kwale County, Kenya. ”
The proposed project is to create an age-friendly environment in the form of elder support multi service centers. These centers will ensure that the senior citizens in the area get proper health care, support and also get suitable opportunities for their overall well being. The project is built on the following prevention and response strategies:
- Professional awareness campaigns to help health care workers and families of seniors recognize elder issues and problems.
- Awareness Campaigns to sensitize the elderly about their rights.
- Provide an age friendly environment to support the senior citizens and their caregivers.
- Empower the elderly by offering them skill development classes.
- Involve the seniors in community development projects to give them a sense of belonging.
To improve the wellbeing of elderly people in Kwale County, Kenya, through the establishment of Elderly Support Multi Service Centers.
- To increase the awareness on issues related to welfare of senior citizens through a series of awareness sessions and mass awareness campaigns.
- To establish sustainable elderly support multi service centers to enable the senior citizens to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Detailed Activities to be undertaken
Awareness Campaign: Our organization will conduct a series of awareness sessions both for the senior citizens in the area and also for their families.
- Awareness Sessions for the Senior Citizens: These awareness sessions will be specially designed for the senior citizens in the project site. The primary purpose of these sessions will be to help the senior citizens be more aware about their rights and help them in accessing the various government schemes and privileges. Our organization shall conduct awareness sessions on the following:
- Old Age Pensions
- Will and Legacy
- Financial Planning
- Existing government schemes and programs to support them
- Issues related to health and nutrition
- Mental health
- Awareness Sessions for Caregivers and families: Not only the senior citizens but also their primary care providers/family members should have an understanding of ways to take care of the ageing parents/grandparents. The primary purpose of these sessions is to apprise the family members about the various issues that older people face and also make them more sensitive toward the needs of the senior citizens. Our organization shall organize awareness sessions to help the care providers on the following:
- Policies related to senior citizens
- Health and care of parents and grandparents
- Ways to make the home a happy and safe place for senior citizens
- Early identification of various age related health disorders and seeking medical help.
- Extending emotional support towards the seniors
- Building positive attitude towards ageing population
- Registration of members and residents for the center: After the awareness sessions are over, our team will register the senior citizens to avail the services of the center. Our team will identify the elderly in their respective communities that require immediate support and will register them in the center after getting consent from their families.
- Setting up Elderly Support Multi Service Centers: Our team will be setting up a total of 2 elderly support multi service centers to provide the best of services to the senior citizens in the area. The elderly support multi service centers will be different from the old age homes as these centers will not just look at offering accommodation to the old and deprived people but will look into developing a holistic space for the overall wellbeing of the senior citizens. The elderly support multi service centers will be providing the following services:
- Residence for abandoned senior citizens
- Day care
- Night care
- Health care
- Hobby classes
- Skill Development classes
- Voluntary services by healthy members
- Monthly recreational activities