Guidelines to facilitate self-care among older persons in South Africa

  • Tinda Rabie
  • Hester C. Klopper
Keywords: Older person, Self-care guidelines


Background: The number of older persons is growing at an alarming rate, yet the South African healthcare sector is not giving this issue the required attention. Moreover, the healthcare sector serves four-fifths of the country's population and primary healthcare (PHC) facilities are overcrowded, and thus professional nurses are prevented from providing sufficient self-care health education to older persons.

Aim: To develop guidelines for the three role players e the public health sector, professional nurse and older person e to facilitate self-care among older persons in South Africa.

Design: Quantitative, descriptive, explorative and contextual research design.

Methods: A literature review followed by a self-care assessment of a sample of older persons using the Appraisal of Self-care Agency (ASA-A) and Exercise of Self care Agency (ESCA) questionnaires which led to the identification of conclusions and self-care deficits.

Results: Based on Menon's psychological health empowerment model, and from the conclusions and self-care deficits, nine self-care guidelines were developed for the public health sector, professional nurses and older persons.

Conclusion: This is the first systematic development of guidelines to facilitate self-care among older persons in South Africa. Implications for practice: The implementation of the self-care guidelines by the public health sector, professional nurses and older persons will improve the healthcare of older persons at home which will in turn improve their quality of life, reduce unintentional self-neglect, as well as assist in alleviating overcrowding in clinics because unnecessary visits to the clinic will drop.

Keywords: Older person, Self-care guidelines


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2071-9736
print ISSN: 1025-9848