Social support systems for the elderly in a Ghanaian rural community

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June, 2016
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The purpose of the research was to find out the actual social support for the older population, and how satisfied they are with the support they received. The population consisted of all the elderly from the age of 65 years and above living in the study area. The multi-stage cluster sampling technique was employed with a sample size of one hundred and fifty elderly people. Questionnaire was the main instrument for the data collection and the mode was personal face-to-face interview where respondents were visited at their homes. The data was analyzed with SPSS and Microsoft excel and the findings show that children (son /daughter) were the main providers of social support for the elderly in the family, followed by spouse and other relatives, with the most kind of support provided being financial assistance, medical expenses, food and emotional support respectively. Most of the old folks (78%) were very much satisfied with the support they received. I therefore recommend that there should be the need for recreational centers for the elderly both in the urban and rural areas, where the old folks can converge and socialize among themselves. This will help reduce loneliness among them and help boost them emotionally.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Sociology and Social Work, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Art in Sociology