Exploration of Ghana’s Older People’s Life-Sustaining Needs in the 21st Century and the Way Forward

In Łukasz Tomczyk & Andrzej Klimczuk (eds.), Between Successful and Unsuccessful Ageing: Selected Aspects and Contexts. Kraków: Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny w Krakowie. pp. 79–120 (2019)
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Abstract
This chapter investigates older people’s needs in contemporary Ghana using the analyses of quantitative and qualitative data sets. The findings identified eight distinct patterns of needs, namely basic needs, care, and domestic help; sociability, emotional and affective support; information; counseling; spiritual needs, free bus rides, and rights. These needs highlight older adults’ social and personal requirements regarding daily living and healthcare in their desire to age with dignity. Their provision may avert problems related to population ageing, including old-age dependency. These needs can be addressed through the following measures. First, the facilitation of the informational needs of older people is attainable through the introduction of initiation for adults and/or older people into the social structure and/or life course. Second, the provision of houses through the mediation of government on behalf of pension contributors, payable in installments. These may ensure appropriate adjustment to life in old age, albeit longevity. The life-sustaining needs of older people have existed since time immemorial. However, these needs are now taking a new dimension in the era of population ageing and increased life expectancy, economic hardships, and weakening extended family support system. We, therefore, argue that these require interventions at both the family and institutional or state levels or formal and informal levels, particularly needs satisfying programs and policies should be instituted by the government in addition to the existing ones.
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