oa South African Family Practice - Understanding the challenges and opportunities encountered by the elderly in urban KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa : research

Volume 57, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



This article is based on research conducted by students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal as part of the course-work requirements in the research module in social work in students' final year of study. Although each student conducted only one interview, when combined, the rich data allowed students and lecturers (the authors of this article) to glean significant understandings pertaining to the needs and problems of the elderly in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Qualitative paradigm using exploratory and descriptive designs and an interview guide.
The findings highlight the insecurity and vulnerability of the elderly, specifically pointing to their social and emotional neglect, with family members taking advantage of these positions of want; their living circumstances where they were exposed to crime and/or living in cramped conditions because of accommodating family members who did not have their own homes; uninvited grandparenting responsibilities; poverty and food insecurity suffered by them as well as unresolved health concerns. Finally, the article concludes with recommendations for both future research and services.

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