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A Global Response to Elder Abuse - page 129 / 149





129 / 149

PAGE 114

Summary of report from Kenya

Focus groups

In total, six focus groups were held: three groups with older people (one with 10 women, one with 10 men, and one with a mixed group of 11 people) and three groups with PHC professionals. e discussions with older people comprised men and women who reside in a suburban location of the city of Nairobi. ey were all from the ethnic group of the Kikuyu and spoke both Kikuyu and Kiswahilli.

  • e PHC professionals and social workers

for both the focus groups and the work- shops were selected from the Kenyatta National Hospital. e PHC professionals consisted mainly of dentists38 who practise at the hospital and teach at the University of Nairobi.

Focus groups with older people

Loneliness is a common problem experi- enced by all participants, owing to the fact that the majority of their children have gone to look for paid employment while grandchildren spend most of their time in school. “Resting on the chin” was identi- fied as an outward expression of loneli- ness. Since older women experience more isolation than older men, loneliness has a gendered dimension.

Most forms of abuse relate to or originate from the fact that the majority of older people seek assistance from other people. Reciprocal help is part of humanity and is cherished in the traditional African fam- ily. However, with ongoing social changes, especially related to urbanization, this idea is now disdained. According to the partici- pants, their seeking for help elicits abuse, disdain, name-calling and emotional abuse.

  • e older people discussed their percep-

tions and views of elder abuse and its different categories. ey also shared their experiences regarding each question but did not comment on the usefulness and the comprehensibility of questions.

Abuse of alcohol by close family members, especially sons, is an important source of elder abuse, since the elder parents are usually on the receiving end of their alco- hol-dependent sons’ poor behaviour and abuse. In most households, the young males are the main or only abusers of the older people.


As it was impossible to gather enough general practitioners for the focus groups, dentists were addressed and invited to join the groups of PHC professionals.

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