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Using the DHS to monitor the well-being of South Africa’s older persons

Jané D. Joubert, Medical Research Council of South Africa
Debbie Bradshaw, Medical Research Council of South Africa
Beatrice Nojilana, Medical Research Council of South Africa
Lindiwe L Makubalo, South African Department of Health

Over 7% of the South African (SA) population are ≥60 years. The SA government recognizes population ageing, and various initiatives reflect commitment towards older persons’ well-being. We will highlight these commitments, and illustrate how a Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) can provide national information to measure selected indicators of well-being in older people. Nearly all urban older persons (92%), and 53% in non-urban areas, had access to electricity. In urban and non-urban areas, respectively, 85% and 5% had access to a flush toilet. Eight percent reported a disability, 2% experienced a serious injury the preceding month, and 5% reported a physical attack the preceding year. Hypertension and arthritis were the most commonly reported chronic conditions. Over 30% sought health care at public facilities, with high levels of client dissatisfaction. Policy level commitments need community and individual-level implementation to effect enhanced older-age well-being. Measuring instruments with dedicated older-age focus are needed.

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Presented in Poster Session 4