Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

‘This is where we buried our sons’: people of advanced old age coping with the impact of the AIDS epidemic in a resource-poor setting in rural Uganda

  • JANET SEELEY (a1), BRENT WOLFF (a2), ELIZABETH KABUNGA (a2), GRACE TUMWEKWASE (a2) and HEINER GROSSKURTH (a2) (a3)...
Abstract
ABSTRACT

Much research on the impact of HIV and AIDS on older people fails to differentiate between age groups, and treats those aged from 50 years to the highest ages as homogeneous. The ‘oldest old’ or those aged over 75 years may be particularly vulnerable through declining health and independence as a result of the AIDS epidemic, which has forced some to take on roles that younger relatives would have performed had they lived. In this paper we describe the past and current experience of eight people in advanced old age living in rural Uganda who were informants for an ethnographic study of the impact of HIV and AIDS on households during 1991–92 and again in 2006–07. The aim of the study was to understand how they had coped with the impacts of the epidemic. From the eight case studies, it is concluded that family size, socio-economic status and some measure of good fortune in sustained good health enabled these people to live to an advanced age. While we recommend that targeted social protection is important in helping the poorest among the oldest, we suggest that sustaining respect for age and experience, and ensuring that older people do not feel discarded by family and society are as important as meeting their practical needs.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Janet Seeley, School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, NorwichNR4 7TJ, UK. E-mail: j.seeley@uea.ac.uk
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

R. E. Bunnell , J. Nassozi , E. Marum , J. Mubangizi , S. Malamba , B. Dillon , J. Kalule , J. Bahizi , N. Musoke and J. H. Mermin 2005. Living with discordance: knowledge, challenges and prevention strategies of HIV-discordant couples in Uganda. AIDS Care, 17, 8, 9991012.

M. G. Cattrell 1990. Models of old age among the Samia of Kenya: family support of the elderly. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 5, 375–94.

R. Crosnoe and G. H. Elder Jr 2002. Successful adaptation in the later years: a life course approach to aging. Social Psychology Quarterly, 65, 5, 309–28.

J. Dayton and M. Ainsworth 2004. The elderly and AIDS: coping with the impact of adult death in Tanzania. Social Science and Medicine, 59, 10, 2161–72.

C. DeWilde 2003. A life-course perspective on social exclusion and poverty. British Journal of Sociology, 54, 1, 109–28.

G. Foster , R. Shakespeare , F. Chinemana , H. Jackson , S. Gregson , C. Marange and S. Mashumba 1995. Orphan prevalence and extended family care in a peri-urban community in Zimbabwe. AIDS Care, 7, 317.

J. Knodel , Z. Zimmer , K. S. Kim and S. Puch 2007. The effect on elderly parents in Cambodia of losing an adult child to AIDS. Population and Development Review, 33, 3, 479500.

D. Serwadda , R. H. Gray , M. J. Wawer , R. Y. Stallings , N. K. Sewankambo , J. K. Konde-Lule , B. Lainjo and R. Kelly 1995. The social dynamics of HIV transmission as reflected through discordant couples in rural Uganda. AIDS, 9, 7, 745–50.

K. W. Wachter , J. E. Knodel and M. VanLandingham 2003. Parental bereavement: heterogeneous impacts of AIDS in Thailand. Journal of Econometrics, 112, 1, 193206.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 7
Total number of PDF views: 6 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 111 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.