Caregiving on the edge: the situation of family caregivers to older persons in Botswana

Sheila Shaibu


Little is known about the long-term care of older persons in Africa. In Botswana it is assumed that families care for their elderly relatives. Yet, the African family is undergoing change, due to more women entering the labour force and rural-to-urban migration of young adults in search of better employment opportunities. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of family caregivers to older persons in Botswana. A qualitative, grounded-theory methodology was used to interview 24 participants who were caring for an older person. The findings indicate that the caregivers are "living on the edge, as they struggle to meet basic survival needs. Implications of the findings for nursing practice, research and policy that address the plight of the caregivers are discussed.

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