Health status of elderly citizens at Siyandhani village of the Limpopo Province, South Africa
AbstractThere has been an increase in the number of older population in South Africa since the 1980s with the majority of them living in rural areas. An increase in the morbidity and mortality rates due to non-communicable diseases among elderly people in the country has also been observed in the past ten years. This increase is often attributed to inadequacies in the health care services for elderly people especially in rural areas. A quantitative descriptive study was conducted to assess the health status of older people at the Siyandhani village, Limpopo Province. A total of 50 female and male respondents aged between 60 and 97 years participated in the study. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess the general health, physical function, social, emotional and mental functioning of the respondents. Although more than half of the respondents considered themselves healthy, the majority of them were experiencing some challenges in performing most of the physical activities and experiencing some degree of tiredness at certain times. Almost all respondents had not experienced some problems in bathing and dressing themselves. The majority of those living with pain had no treatment due to inaccessible health care facilities. As continuously untreated bodily pains can influence the physical, emotional and social functioning of an individual, an intervention is necessary to improve the health status of elderly people at Siyandhani village. Thiis will positively influence the people’s perceptions of their own health status.
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