CHARACTER OF HOMES FOR THE AGED IN RURAL KENYA

ABSTRACT
The aged are an important part of the African society. They enjoy privileges through the care and support they receive from the extended families. However, due to modernization and weakening of the strong family ties that once held communities together, the aged are becoming a neglected group that lacks care and any type of support. The young who are supposed to be looking after their aging family members lack commitment and do not want to take up this responsibility.
The aged are a dependent lot that needs not only financial help but also emotional and social support. Their neglect and abandonment leads to social isolation, loneliness and depression. As a result, group living schemes such as homes for the aged are becoming popular as they try to fill in the gap in care that is left by the families.
Homes for the aged is a concept in Africa that is foreign as the traditions over the years saw the elderly well taken care of within the family or extended families. With modernization however, there has been some influence on the culture and this is a concept that is slowly being integrated into our societies. Frampton states that a regions’ traditions are important in reinforcing a society moving forward in a global world while taking up universal methods.
The study looks at how the homes for the aged fit into the physical, social and cultural context of rural Kenya. What aspects of the traditions have influenced the homes and how the homes have also responded to the context. Through the use of case studies, a descriptive research in nature was conducted with reference to the primary and secondary data collected to conduct a further analysis of the field data. The findings show attempts at integrating the homes into the societies with instances of less success in some aspects.

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