Original Research

Meanings and expressions of care and caring for elders in urban Namibian families:

CJ Leuning, LF Small, A van Dyk
Curationis | Vol 23, No 3 | a711 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v23i3.711 | © 2000 CJ Leuning, LF Small, A van Dyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 September 2000 | Published: 27 September 2000

About the author(s)

CJ Leuning, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA, United States
LF Small, Department of nursing University of Namibia, Namibia
A van Dyk, Department of nursing University of Namibia, Namibia

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Since Namibia’s Independence in 1990, the population of elders—persons 65 years old and older—in urban communities is growing steadily. As such, requests for home health care, health counselling, respite care and residential care for aging members of society are overwhelming nurses and the health care system. This study expands transcultural nursing knowledge by increasing understanding of generic (home-based) patterns of elder care that are practised and lived by urban Namibian families. Guided by Madeleine Leininger’s theory of culture care diversity and universality and the ethnonursing research method, emic (insider) meanings and expressions of care and caring for elders in selected urban households have been transposed into five substantive themes. The themes, which depict what caring for elders means to urban families, include:
1 nurturing the health of the family,
2 trusting in the benevolence of life as lived,
3 honouring one’s elders,
4 sustaining security and purpose for life amid uncertainty, and
5 living with rapidly changing cultural and social structures.
These findings add a voice from the developing world to the evolving body of transcultural nursing knowledge. Synthesis of findings with professional care practices facilitates the creation of community-focussed models for provisioning culturally congruent nursing care to elders and their families in urban Namibia.


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