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Living arrangements, socio-demographic and health conditions of Ghana’s elderly persons: results from 2006 focus group discussions

Chuks J Mba, University of Ghana
Gifty Addico, University of Ghana
Richard M.K. Adanu, University of Ghana

A pilot study was carried out in one urban slum in Greater Accra Region (Old Fadama) and one rural HIV/AIDS endemic locality in Eastern Region of Ghana (Fanteakwa). Focus group discussions were held in 2006 with a view to unearthing important information relating to persons aged 60 years and above. The results suggest some were compelled to take care of their grandchildren, most were not living with their adult children, they now contend with the double burden of fending for themselves and providing for the upkeep of their co-resident grandchildren. Looking over their lives from childhood till date, major shifts have been noticed in the living arrangements of the household; parents/children relationships; and position and authority of the elderly in the community. They were generally unhealthy and it was not easy assessing primary health care. The findings have important implications for the health and well-being of the elderly in Ghana.

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Presented in Session 56: The Wellbeing of Older People: Measurement issues