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Huria: Journal of the Open University of Tanzania

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Social Work Implication on Care and Vulnerability of Older People in Tanzania

H Rwegoshora

Abstract


This paper attempts to discuss the social work implications on ageing and vulnerability in Tanzania. The main objective of the study was to examine the social, economic and health status and the role of social workers in helping the older people to make them not only to make best choices about their future but also contribute to development to the communities surrounding them. The study was conducted in Bagamoyo district where four villages (i.e. Msigi, Tawalanda, Matipwili and Sadani) were selected. The main target population was the older people, community members, local government leaders and health providers. The main variables which were studied included social, economic, health and ideological issues. The main findings of the study revealed that, despite the existence of policies such as the national ageing policy, health policy, national social security policy,
and old people remained vulnerable. It was noted for example that, the low level of income determined the type of food afforded by older people, accessibility to health services and other basic needs. The situation was worse to older people who shouldered the responsibility of grandchildren. The study also noted that, there were no social workers in the rural areas. The social workers were found at the district headquarters but also in few numbers. The study was not able to establish the capacity of social workers in making a meaningful intervention to older people’s concerns. The study recommends that, there was a dire need to provide reliable social services in the rural areas which would assist the older people. Further it is recommended that, the introduction of social pension would greatly increase the economic capacity of older people. Last but not least the study recommends for the need for research on dynamics of ageing with physiological, psychological, cultural and environmental factors in attempt to develop a positive attitudes to older people.



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