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01.12.2014 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 6/2014

Journal of Community Health 6/2014

The Health Status and Unmet Health Needs of Old-Age Pensioners Living in Selected Urban Poor Communities in Cape Town, South Africa

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Community Health > Ausgabe 6/2014
Autoren:
Thashlin Govender, Jo M. Barnes

Abstract

Indigent elderly residing in low-income urban communities face many adversities. This study investigated the health status and health needs of the elderly collecting an old-age pension at pay points in impoverished urban communities in the City of Cape Town. The pay-out points were selected to constitute a fair representation of points serving impoverished areas of the city. Data was gathered by means of a structured interview with a formal questionnaire since a large proportion of the participating elderly could not read well. Systematic sampling with random starting points of persons in the pay-out queue was used and 703 pensioners were selected to participate from eight pension points in four urban poor communities. All agreed to do so. The health status of the participants was not good: 82.8 % were on chronic medication, 32 % had diarrhoea in the previous 2 weeks, 24 % had TB in the past and 36 % reported a previous heart attack. Their health needs were equally not great: 48 % reported that their spectacles need changing while 56 % have trouble hearing well and 65 % needed dentures, while 66 % needed a walking aid. Only 4.7 % did not have problems with activities of daily living while many faced added burdens such as custodial child care.

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