The burden of caring: An exploratory study of the older persons caring for adult children with aids-related illnesses in rural communities in South Africa

Makhosazane Ntuli, Sphiwe Madiba*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since the start of the HIV and AIDS epidemic, very little research has been conducted on the older persons’ provision of HIV-related care to adult children. This is despite the fact that a large proportion of adults who die of AIDS-related illnesses stay with their elderly parents during the terminal stage of their illnesses. This paper explores how older persons in rural settings experience caring for their adult children with AIDS-related illnesses. In-depth interviews took place with older persons aged 60 years and above. The qualitative data analysis was informed by thematic approach to identify and report themes using inductive approach. The paper found that the older persons undertake the caring role without resources and support. As a result, they are burdened with having to care for adult children with AIDS-related illness. Fatigue arising from the hard work of physically caring for their sick adult children day and night adds to the physical burden on the older persons. Older persons will continue to carry the burden of caring for people with AIDS-related illnesses due to the increase in the number of new infections in South Africa. There is a need to involve them in HIV/AIDS programmes; their experience and wisdom would surely contribute positively and assist in addressing HIV prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3162
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume16
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Caregiving role
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Older persons
  • Poor resources
  • Rural communities
  • South Africa

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