The Influence of Public Perception of Old People on the Uptake of Institutionalised Care for the Aged in Nakuru County, Kenya
Chepkwony, Sellah Jerop
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This study investigated public perception on age and aging and its influence on the uptake of institutional care 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 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 and socio-cultural factors on the one hand and their influence on the uptake of institutional care for the elderly. A pilot study was carried 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, who were selected through purposive and stratified random sampling. Data for the study was collected through the use of questionnaires and in-depth interviews. The results vividly reveal that older people are respected and valued and also play a crucial roles in the society. Unfortunately, the result loosely indicates that some older people face older abuse and are less tolerated. The regression results also indicate that willingness to accept formal care services is influenced negatively by elder role but negatively influenced by tolerance (measured as the intolerance level of the society against the elderly people). Thus, it is important to consider the roles actual significance of the elderly people in the society and their societal regards before marketing the services.