Social work engagement in the community-based care of older people in Namibia

Authored by: Janetta Ananias , Leigh-Ann Salonika , Namdis Black , Herman Strydom

The Handbook of Social Work and Social Development in Africa

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472468512
eBook ISBN: 9781315557359
Adobe ISBN: 9781317029380


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The majority of older people in Namibia live in the community rather than in institutional settings, and most are cared for by their families. However, with the breakdown of the extended family system, there have been increasing calls for community-based interventions to enhance the care of older people. Informal caregivers work in isolation in complex circumstances without support, which creates further stress as the number of older people in the population increases. This chapter examines a support group program for caregivers as one means of intervening to ensure adequate community care for elderly people within a developmental welfare model. The chapter begins with a brief history on the development of social work and formal social services in Namibia before moving to examine the support group intervention.

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