An assessment of the challenges faced by older persons:case study of Kenyan older persons
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There are many challenges faced by older persons in Kenya. This study identified the weakened traditional extended family structure, poverty, HIV / AIDS and lack of access to competent medical care as some of the key challenges faced by older persons in Kenya. The main objective of this study was to make a critical assessment of the challenges faced by older persons in society. To effectively handle the subject matter, the researcher developed specific objectives that were intended to assist the study to comprehensively cover the research topic. The specific objectives drawn included an investigation of the rising poverty levels as a challenge to older persons and to find out how the weakening of the traditional extended family structures has affected older persons. The literature review was done using the thematic approach. Each specific objective was taken as a thematic area and literature relevant to each section comprehensively reviewed. Some of the issues that emerged in the literature review included the impact of HIV / AIDS on older persons and the need for the Government and the civil society to include older persons In the AIDS awareness campaigns and education. Poverty and the rising costs of living were found to be having a devastating effect on older persons. The breakdown of the traditional extended family support structures together with its inbuilt social security systems stood out as being central to the challenges faced by older persons in the society. This was purely a desk research and the data reviewed was extracted from relevant books, journals, workshop reports, magazines, and newsletters of various organizations and newspapers. The content of the reviewed literature was manually analyzed and the findings discussed. The findings confirmed most of the hypotheses that had been postulated by the study. Some were that the collapse of the traditional extended family structure is the main challenge faced by older persons; older persons lack access to competent medical care and that poverty is one of the critical challenges faced by older persons. The study concluded that most of the challenges faced by older persons can be addressed by first helping the family to develop the capacity to cope with the changes in the modern times. The main recommendation that the study made was that the Government and the society in general, should support the family to be able to assist older persons. The society should be sensitized to respect and appreciate the role of older persons in the community.