Experiences of co-resident carers of elderly persons in Mangaung (Bloemfontein)

  • Le├íne Ackermann University of the Orange Free State
  • Z Matebesi University of the Orange Free State


In South Africa, the majority of elderly people reside in multigenerational households and it is therefore conceivable that over a million co-residents are faced with caring responsibilities. Yet little is known about informal caregiving in the country generally, and neither about carers of elderly persons and their experiences. This paper reports on an exploratory study of the experiences of a group of informal caregivers who reside in a black African urban township. Negative aspects of caring identified by carers include social isolation, family conflict, work-related problems and stress. As great demands are placed on informal carers, the researchers conclude that the carers should be supported, to enhance this important yet often overlooked care resource.