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TitleSouthern African Journal of Gerontology, volume 5, number 1, April 1996
AuthorFerreira, Monica (editor)
AuthorMoller, Valerie
AuthorHSRC/UCT Centre for Gerontology
SubjectGerontology -- South Africa
SubjectOlder people -- Care -- South Africa
Format32 p.
Abstract[From Editorial] This issue comprises a transdisciplinary mix of interesting and relevant papers ranging from a community-development intervention, to gerontolinguistics, to guidelines for new legislation, to community services in China. The issue begins with an article on infrastructure and equity for the elderly, in which authors Ross, Lerer and Phillips investigate the attitudes of older residents of Elim, a village situated in South Africa"s Western Cape province, towards electrification of their village and homes. The creation of basic infrastructure in historically-disadvantaged areas throughout South Africa is a priority under the government"s RDP. However, in this case study of Elim, the utility company which provides electricity to the village failed to consult the elderly residents on the developmental intervention and the benefits which electrification might have for them. The majority of the older residents who were interviewed were consequently negative about this new energy source. The advantages which electricity has over other fuels have distinct health and other developmental benefits, and in rural households older members are important decision makers on energy use. The study"s findings indicate that developmental interventions in ruralbased communities should include a social-marketing component targeting older members of the community. The article by Makoni on discourse practices in first-time encounters between old and young Xhosa-speaking women represents an exciting development in gerontological research in the Southern African region. As far as we know, this is a first report on a linguistics study in an older population in the region. In his analysis of the conversations, Makoni notes the sociohistorical background against which the old women try to retain status and respect. He points out that while the elderly are a marginalized group, the youth in South African society have become empowered through their contributions to the political changes, which along with other social changes are seen by some to destabilize traditional seniority respect norms.
AbstractIn his article Van Dokkum makes out a case for the development of legislation to protect older South Africans against abuse. He uses examples of new South African legislation to deter child abuse and vast legislation in the United States to protect older Americans, in outlining a proposal for local activists to campaign for adequate protection of elderly citizens. Zhu gives us an update on a massive community social-services programme for older people being implemented in the People"s Republic of China. The programme partly aims to assist an increasing number of older people who find that they are no longer able to live with kin and must live independently. The programme already serves a staggering proportion of China"s 104 million persons aged 60 years and above, although it is estimated that it currently only meets 30 percent of the demand. pensions and household structure in Namibia by Adamchak published in SAJG Volume 4, No 2 (October 1995), and Adamchak"s response are welcome additions to this number. The journal encourages debate on papers that it publishes, and the letters also reflect the development and growth of gerontology and research on ageing in the Southern African region. Finally, gerontolinguist Makoni reviews Hamilton"s (1994) book in which the author analyses her conversations with Elsie, an Alzheimer"s disease patient in a "total institution" (Goffman, 1961). The book contributes to understanding of losses and changes in language use in sufferers of this disease as the dementia progresses. Makoni proposes topics for studies on this subject which might be carried out in Southern African countries, where the majority of dementing older Africans are cared for within the community and not in a long-term care institution.
PublisherHSRC/UCT Centre for Gerontology, University of Cape Town