Support services available for elderly women caring for people living with HIV and AIDS in Masindi District, Uganda

Elsevier, Heliyon, Volume 7, August 2021
Kyomuhendo C., Boateng A., Agyemang F.A.

In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV/AIDS remains a big challenge and a leading cause of death among young adults, its main productive human resource. Hence, increasing the demand for care and support services by the epidemic infected and affected people. As a result, elderly persons, especially women are burdened to provide care and support; a midst disintegrated family support system and the inability of public and private sectors to adequately address their needs. The current qualitative study examined the support services available for elderly women caring for people living with HIV/AIDS in Masindi district, Uganda. A purposive sampling method was used to recruit 24 participants. In-depth interviews were conducted with 18 elderly women caregivers and 6 key informants. Findings indicated that the elderly women caregivers were at least receiving support from two major sectors; including the informal (family, friends, neighbors, religious and community groups) and formal (The Aids Support Organisation- TASO and the government) support systems. However, this support was not consistent and efficient for optimal caregiving. Therefore, more needs to done by making both the informal and formal support systems fully available for elderly caregivers for HIV/AIDS people, thus, benefiting from direct intervention and support services to help meet their care needs.