PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS OF ELDERLY PEOPLE AND ELDERLY CARE INSTITUTIONS AND UPTAKE OF INSTITUTIONALISED CARE FOR THE AGED IN NAKURU COUNTY, KENYA
CHEPKWONY, SELAH JEROP
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This study investigated Public Perceptions of Elderly People and Elderly Care Institutions and Uptake of Institutionalized Care for the Aged in Nakuru County, Kenya. This study was informed by the growing population of older people around the world at a time when traditional social support structures for older people are increasingly disintegrating. The disintegration of social support structures for older people, imply that society has to seek for alternative support structures such as institutional care. Specifically the study examined the influence of public perception of old people on uptake of institutionalized care, perceived public efficacy to address the needs of their aged dependants, public perception of the elderly dependants‟ self-efficacy, and public perception of institutional efficacy in taking care of the aged. A pilot study was carried out at Kericho County to determine validity and reliability of the study. The reliability coefficient of 0.862 and validity of 79.4% were attained hence the tool was both reliable and valid. The study was guided by exploratory research design. The study engaged 400 respondents for the questionnaire who were selected through random sampling and 7 key informants who were selected through purposive sampling. Data for the study was collected through the use of questionnaires and in-depth interviews. The study employed descriptive and inferential statistics for data analysis, which was aided by aided by use of SPSS (Version 21) and STATA 12. The results reveal that 57% of the public were not aware of the existence of the care homes in Nakuru County. Further, the uptake of institutional care for older people was most influenced by perceived importance of older people, the level of tolerance attitude of personnel of institutional homes, availability of social bonding program society for the older persons, health status, psychosocial Status of the elderly people, and the general competence of the care homes in terms of personnel and the physical infrastructure. In terms of areas for further study, this study recommends for an examination into the coping mechanisms of care providers in their adaptation to the challenging role of care provision in institutional homes.