Community living for destitute older Zimbabweans: institutional care with a human face

  • R. Mupedziswa School of Social Work, University of Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe, like many other developing countries, has a relatively large number of destitute elderly people. For a variety of reasons it has become increasingly difficult to cater for these people - only a few old people's homes exist. In any event, conventional old people's homes have generally been frowned upon, not only for cultural reasons but also because they are perceived as being not user friendly and too expensive. For these and other reasons, it has become necessary to search for alternative types of accommodation for this population, which are affordable and socially more acceptable. This paper describes an alternative housing strategy with a more human face than residential institutions, which provides for co-operative living for destitute elderly persons.


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