Subjective quality of life of the elderly affected by HIV/AIDS

Cohen, Ivan (2016-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016


This research study investigated the effects of HIV/AIDS on the subjective quality of life of elderly caregivers. The purpose of the research was to develop an in-depth understanding of how HIV/AIDS affects the subjective quality of life of the elderly caregiver in multiple life domains. A qualitative research design was used with a narrative approach to explore the lived experiences of elderly caregivers who are affected by HIV/AIDS. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted to ascertain their experiences in providing care for family and community members affected by HIV/AIDS, and how their quality of life has been affected by their caregiving role. Data were analysed using thematic analysis and the adapted listening guide developed by Carol Gilligan. Through this process, the different voices of the participants were heard and used to establish the common themes. The sample for this study was selected from Masiphumelele in the Western Cape, which has a high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS. Purposive sampling was used to select 10 participants who care for relatives, friends, spouses and children with HIV/AIDS, as well as children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. Fifty percent of the participants indicated in the course of the interviews that they were also infected with HIV. It was found that the subjective quality of life within various areas within the participants’ lives had been significantly affected by their roles as caregivers. The elderly caregivers found themselves having to take up multiple unexpected roles such as breadwinner, mother, father, grandmother and grandfather within their household. These new roles affected the elderly within multiple life domains, thus putting them at risk of experiencing a decreased quality of life. This compromised quality of life heavily affected the social, mental, physical and financial aspects of their lives. ENGLISH ABSTRACT : Recommendations are presented to enhance the quality of life of the elderly who find their twilight years affected by having to cope with an extended caregiving role because of the effects and implications of HIV in their family and community.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie studie het ondersoek ingestel op die impak van HIV/VIGS op die subjektiewe lewenskwaliteit van bejaarde versorgers. Die doel van hierdie navorsing was om ‘n dieper begrip te ontwikkel van hoe HIV/VIGS die subjektiewe lewenskwaliteit van bejaarde versorgers affekteer in verskillende aspekte van hul lewens. ‘n Kwalitatiewe navorsingsontwerp is gebruik saam met ’n narratiewe benadering om die lewenservarings te ondersoek van bejaarde versorgers wie se lewens deur HIV/VIGS beïnvloed is. Semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude is met individue gevoer om hul ervaring te bepaal in die versorging van familie lede wie se lewens deur HIV/VIGS geaffekteer is, asook hoe hul versorgingsrol hul lewenskwaliteit geaffekteer het. Die data was geanaliseer deur gebruik te maak van tematiese analise en ‘n aangepaste weergawe van die narratiewe metode voorgestel in Carol Gilligan se luister-gids. Deur hierdie proses is verskillende "stemme" van die deelnemers uitgeken, wat gebruik is om verskillende temas te bepaal. Die steekproef vir hierdie studie was afkomstig van die Masiphumelele gemeenskap, geleë in die Wes-Kaap, waar daar ‘n baie hoë HIV/VIGS voorkomssyfer is. Doelgerigte steekproefneming was gebruik om tien deelnemers te kies wat versorgers is van familie, vriende, eggenote en kinders wat HIV/VIGS positief is, sowel as weeskinders wat hulle ouers aan HIV/VIGS verloor het. Vyf van die deelnemers het ook in die loop van die onderhoudproses aangedui dat hulle HIV-positief is. Daar is bevind dat die subjektiewe lewenskwaliteit van die deelnemers in verskeie lewensareas aansienlik geaffekteer is weens hul rol as versorgers. Bejaarde versorgers moet menigte addisionele rolle beklee soos die van broodwinner, ma, pa, ouma en oupa, binne hulle huishouding. Hierdie rol verandering het ‘n nadelige uitwerking op die sosiale, psigiese, fisiese asook die finansiële aspekte van hul lewens. Die bejaardes wat as gevolg van HIV/VIGS menigte onverwagte rolle beklee, loop ‘n hoë risiko om geaffekteer te word in verskeie lewensareas en om ‘n verlaagde lewenskwaliteit te hê.

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