Exploring the perceptions of old age (home) residents regarding the general care received (by the elderly) in the O.R. Tambo District Eastern Cape.
The study is exploring the inner world of old age home resident’s perceptions and how they felt on the general care they receive. The main themes were: Basic needs, psycho-social aspects, safety environment, safety medication aspect, nutrition, institutionalisation and support system. They felt aging not only meant losing independency, dignity and loneliness but also having more experiences. Not all is well at the old age home resident. BACKGROUND: Increasing life expectancy should be celebrated, but with it comes the challenges of the increased like hood of multiple health conditions. With a growing older population, aging has become an important issue for attention. Extension of services provide programmes and home resident services for senior citizens, but how much knowledge about ageing and home resident‘s perceptions regarding the general care they receive(Nina Chen2001). The motivation of the study had its origin on the ever increasing ageing population in the country and the observation made during case study on Stroke Assignment as a Gerontology Master’s student at the selected old age home resident. The observations made were less than satisfactory conditions of the general care received by the old age home residents made the researcher to seek on exploring their perception. PURPOSE: To examine old age home residents’ perceptions regarding the basic physical care they receive. To gain some more understanding on the ageing phenomenon at the Empilweni old age residence. To provide some answers that could be used by policy makers and professionals to formulate guidelines or interventions relevant to lived experiences of the older persons and the meaning attached to ageing or being old and consequently improve the basic quality of life of older person in Eastern Cape. METHODOLOGY: Phemenologic design within a qualitative approach to guide the research process: Data was collected from focus groups. Open ended group discussion was used. Data was collected using group discussions, field notes and through the medium of video and audio tape; raw data was transcribed, interpreted, and translated .data was analysed manually through generated into themes codes and into categorised and subcategories. PARTICIPANTS: An invitation in this study was announced at one of the only registered old age home at the O.R. Tambo district Eastern Cape. Purposive quota sampling was done. Twelve elderly residents participated in this study. Characteristics of the participants were described according to the age, length of stay, any chronic disease or disability, reason to stay at the residents and any relatives or family visiting. Participants were graded according to functional disabilities –active: 60-65 years semi-frail, older elderly: 65-75 years, and frail age: 75 and over years of age ranging from independency to dependency of their limitations. Senile dementia, those with cognitive impairment and very frail elderly were excluded.Data was collected. DATA ANALYSIS: The Tesch’s approach and elicitation method was used. Data collected and displayed from stage of entry to data analysis was analysed manually. Transcribed, translated and interpreted of raw data into meaningful concepts using data from the participants, observations field notes and confirming on video/tape records. Based on the data reduction, interpretations, decontexualisation and contextualisation to generate themes. Coding process was done after reducing repeated content and linking relevant concept getting sense of the whole, by colouring , marking , abbreviate the topics as codes and turn into themes .Codes were generated. The data was classified into categories and subcategories. The following categories immerged: Basic needs, Safety environment & medication, psychosocial aspect, Nutrition, Institutionalisation and Support system aspect. RESULTS: Not all residents were satisfied with the general care at the old age home residence. Loss of independency accompanied low dignity and loneliness in old age home residents. CONCLUSION: In examining the perception of old age residents regarding general care, gaps regarding the general care for elderly residents have been identified hence recommended for more health caregiver staff, in-service on ethics morals on the caregivers and extension of services to multidisciplinary approach.