Research Article - Journal of Aging and Geriatric Psychiatry (2023) Volume 7, Issue 3
Lived experiences of old age people in Bahir Dar city, Northwest Ethiopia: A phenomenological study.
Introduction: Understanding ageing and how it is perceived from the perspective of aged people can help one gain a deeper and more accurate understanding of the phenomenon as well as of the demands and challenges that they face. However, this is rare in Ethiopia. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to explore the living experiences of old age people in Bahir Dar City, Northwest Ethiopia. Materials and methods: A hermeneutic phenomenological study design was conducted from January 1 to 15, 2022. An in-depth interview was conducted with 12 old age people chosen based on heterogeneous purposive sampling. In addition, a typical case of purposive sampling was used to select four key informants from different offices in Bahir Dar City. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis, following the recommended steps for qualitative data analysis. Lincoln and Guba's criteria were used to increase the trustworthiness of the findings. Finally, this research followed the standards for reporting qualitative research to report the findings.
Results: The study revealed nine main themes: definition of old age, perception of old age and healthy ageing; daily activities and community participation; health-related conditions; healthcare service utilization and barriers, nutritional concerns, availability and types of support. Participants observed old age a change of body appearance, physical and mental activities and/or expected social roles. Similarly, healthy ageing entails the absence of disease along with physical activity, spiritual wellbeing, and social interaction. The study participants complained about a variety of health related issues that interfered with their daily activities, community participation and dietary practices. Furthermore, participants reported receiving various forms of support from various bodies, but they were dissatisfied with the coverage and adequacy of support and they perceived that traditional values and norms were gradually eroding.
Conclusion: The study participants perceived the blessings and challenges of old age. They perceived that older people are seen as a burden to the family and society at large. Therefore, policymakers and stakeholders should offer comprehensive strategies to improve health outcomes and support effective ageing.Author(s): Ahmed Muhye*, Netsanet Fentahun