Changing Cultures And Care Of The Elderly

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The traditional family has been the repository of care, particularly during old age in African societies including Ghana.

Such care follows general principles of reciprocity within families and kin groups, and adult children are expected to reciprocate the care received during infancy and adolescence.

In recent decades however, ongoing global socio-cultural, political and economic changes have been noted to have affected the capabilities of family members to care for each other.

As a result the once revered practice of caring for elderly members of the family is on the decline.

Against this background, this study sought to explore the situation of elderly women in Teshie, one of the six Ga towns of Accra, to examine the care they received from their adult children and relatives.

Given that women are not a homogeneous group and may differ according to their reproductive status, the old women in the study were categorized into childless women and grandmothers, to explore the care they received or the deficits in care that occurred.

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