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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of cross-cultural gerontology
Title “Retirement lost”—the new role of the elderly as caretakers for orphans in western Kenya
Author(s)
Volume 18
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
Page numbers 33-52
URL https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jens_Aagaard-Hansen/publication/276271635_Retirement_lost_-_the​_new_role_of_the_elderly_as_caretakers_for_orphans_in_western_Kenya/links/5554425e08ae6fd2d81f3b3d.p​df
Abstract
A study on the new role of the elderly as caretakers of orphans was conducted in a
rural part of Kenya applying a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. One out of
three children had lost at least one biological parent and one of nine had lost both. These figures
are increasing exponentially. Most orphans were cared for by relatives, and about one out of
five caretakers was 55 years of age or above. These elderly caretakers faced major difficulties in
caring for the orphans in terms of schooling, food and medical care. There is a major difference
between the present hardships of these caretakers and the traditional position of the elderly in
the past. This dramatic deterioration in the situation of the elderly should be seen in the context
of the rampant HIV/AIDS epidemic, population growth, changing socio-cultural values, and
unfavourable macroeconomic trends.

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