Care of the Older Person
In this assignment the learner is required to investigate on the topic based on life after employment for the older person in Cameroon and write a project that covers the following areas. The role of carer/organisation in promoting positive attitudes to ageing and retirement, ethnic and cultural influences in retirement, health and therapeutic interventions that enhances life for person after retirement and how family members can be included in caring for the older person. All the information in this project is obtain from the internet, articles and books.
- The Role of Carer/Organisation in Promoting Positive attitudes to ageing and retirement
In Cameroon one of the organisations that promote positive ageing is Community Development Volunteers for Technical Assistance (CDVTA). CDVTA is a legally registered community development charity in Cameroon that helps the elderly realize their rights, live in dignity and improve their livelihoods. They have created elderly clubs at the rural/community level to encourage the older people get involved in activities such as rearing, beekeeping, soap making and medical plant production. They also support the elderly to feel more included and cared by the community through active club membership, regular home-visits and integrating with their families. They help to raise living standards in areas where no other government support exists by providing volunteers who assist the elderly in personal hygiene and household works. The elderly are also empowered to attain improved standards of living.
Ref: CDVTA Cameroon, 2012.
The Regional Centre for the Welfare of Aging Persons (RECEWAPEC) is a humanitarian organisation that works for the welfare of older people in Cameroon. They encouraged older people to be involved in activities such as pigs breeding, farming bees, cultivating mushrooms and bee farming.
They also support older people’s eye care projects and reach older people and families affected by HIV and AIDS.
They help the elderly claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty so they can live dignified, secure, active and healthy lives.
Ref:HelpAge International, 2012.
- Ethnic & Cultural influences on the Older Person In Relation to Retirement
Cameroon has approximately 1.2milion of seniors aged over 60 years living more in rural areas than urban areas. In Cameroon the retirement age is 60-65. Cameroon does not have a national pension policy that covers all workers. Only those who have worked for the civil service or in other formally recognized sectors receive a pension or any kind of government support. Many in retirement still struggle. It takes a lot of time, money and bureaucracy to set up a pension plan and some people die before receiving their payments. People who have worked all their lives in jobs that fall outside the control of the government tend to rely on private pension policies, which are even less reliable. They are the most vulnerable. There is little specific attention paid to the issues faced by the ageing generation. There are no government institutions, organizations or healthcare services that specialize in meeting older people’s needs. Indeed, Cameroon has never conducted a national survey to find out what the challenges that elderly people face. Many elderly in Cameroon lives in isolation and neglect with little help from their families and communities as there is no specific legislation that protects and promotes the rights of elderly. The elderly in Cameroon are facing different problems depending on whether they live in urban or rural areas. Because of unending movement of the population, older persons living in cities cannot rely on a social network. Although health centers are located in cities, they usually are built in the suburbs several kilometers away. They experience poor living conditions, limited access to healthcare, exclusion from society and decision-making processes. In urban areas, it is particularly bad. Most of them have moved to the countryside as they are not isolated. In Cameroonn older people are abandoned to their self whether in the village or town. They benefit from assistance by families that have kept up some traditional values and offer mutual support and some have a small business that pays them what to eat.
Ref: globaldevelopment, 2015.
- How Health Promotion & Therapeutic Interventions can Enhance Quality of Life.
Health promotion enhances quality of life for retired elderly people in many ways. It improves the body function, longevity, it promotes their general and emotional wellbeing, it makes older people to feel good and helps to identify health-related problems. In older people it important to promote a healthy attitude towards the following aspects healthy eating, exercise and voluntary work. In Cameroon the majority of retired elderly people have gardens and small farms where they cultivate food stuff. This enables them to eat healthy fresh food everyday and to have healthy options of food provided in different ways. The elderly people in Cameroon are very active. They get involve in cultural activities, excursions, farming, dancing groups, rearing, beekeeping, soap making. Majority of them don’t drive so they walk to their farms, around the community visiting families and friends. This keeps them flexible and creates less chance of developing anxiety/ depression. The elderly play a very important role in the Cameroon culture. Some of them volunteer to take care of babies and accompany children to school if they are still strong most become institutions because they engage to transmit local cultures and knowledge to the younger generation, play a vital role in conflict resolution and peacemaking and some act as advisers and supervisors to some organisation and government. Due to the role they play in the society this ensure a good life, makes them feel useful and gives them something to do so they do not feel lonely thus longer life expectancy.
Therapeutic interventions that can improve the quality of life of elderly people in Cameroon include njangi groups, old person’s social clubs and church groups. This helps the elderly to have access to a group of people of their age, enjoy conversation, dance and make new friends. Therefore promote mental stimulation and encouraged mobility, keeps them active and involved, helps to overcome poverty, makes them feel valued members of the community and improves their mental and physical health.
Ref: Growing old in Cameroon, 2013.
- Discuss how family members can be included as partners in care for the older person.
In Cameroon family ties are intimate and long lasting, so the elderly rely so much on the family for greatest security. Older persons benefit from assistance by families that have keep up some traditional values and offer mutual support. Care is provided only by family members as they are required to take care of their parents. Because there are no nursing homes or elderly care facilities in Cameroon parents have traditionally lived with their children or extended family members. Caring for the elderly by their family members are common phenomenon and important values in both the rural and urban areas in Cameroon. Most often these elderly persons reside in rural areas and are engaged in subsistence farming activities. When they are frail and are not able to carry on the farming activities one the children either the eldest or the wealthiest in the family takes his or her parent to live with and takes the responsibility providing assistance to them, assist them with their activities of daily living such as bathing, feeding, cooking their meals and toileting and providing their needs such as clothing, food, shelter, health and money. Family’s members are also responsible for the medical cost of the older person. Women have a very strong family ties and therefore are very committed in helping their parents. This ensures a good livelihood to the elderly and as an obligation of the able child to take care of his/her parents.
Ref: Growing old in Cameroon, 2013.
Life after retirement in Cameroon is more difficult as compare to Ireland. This is due to the fact that there are a lot of facilities in Ireland such as nursing homes, social welfare services and medical facilities as compare to Cameroon.
CDVTA Cameroon, 2012.
Growing old in Cameroon, 2013.
HelpAge International, 2012.
5M4339[Type text]John Mbeng Tagni
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