The programme for the elderly aims at improving the quality of life for the elderly through provision of psychosocial services, facilitation of access to health services, advocacy and networking
1) Provide assessment, facilitate treatment and management of health issues experienced by our elderly citizens
2) Provide psychosocial services that enhance resilience and reduce psychological and emotional distress
3) Enhance the quality of life through the provision of recreational, educational and social network enhancement programmes
4) Enhance community support through education and advocacy
This programme targets the elderly citizens aged 65 and above living in Mzuzu city.
Health care and support
This programme realizes that for the elderly to experience and live a dignified life, their health needs ought to be addressed.
Carry out periodic health assessments for all the elderly registered by the programme, facilitate treatment and referral to identified health facilities.
- Physical rehabilitation – physiotherapy activities utilising existing rehabilitation technicians (Cerebral Vascular Accidents, Fractures and others with mobility problems)
- Provision of a mid day meal to the clients. This is with the recognition that most of them according to the findings do not have adequate meals.
- The program where necessary provides supplementary food to facilitate recovery and enhance wellness. This however, depends on assessment to address the nutritional needs that may have been identified.
This programme is cognizant of the reality within which the elderly population live; situations of poverty, loss and emotional burden. The programme implements a psychosocial support strategy that involves social as well as psychological interventions to enhance the quality of life for the elderly population, through;
- Individual, family and group counselling and
- Social work processes, For instance social assessment and support depending on need. E.g. home visitations, re-establishing links with family and other support network, community education and advocacy and linking clients to other service providers. Family and community will be integral to the implementation of this strategy.
Leisure and recreation
It is the view of this programme to deliberately make attempts to invigorate the elders by involving them in recreational activities to enhance their self esteem and minimize the psychosocial stress in their lives.
- The programme provides centre based recreational activities like indoor games, sporting activities, music and dance
- As well as walks and trips to places of interest for the senior citizens
The programme conducts adult literacy sessions to enhance reading and numerical skills. This enhances the quality of life for the elderly by among other things enabling them to fully participate in community engagements like churches and businesses, in the process enhancing their self esteem.
Community education and advocacy
To enlist the support of the families, communities and other organizations, The program utilises a rights approach to education to create awareness and support; it is the belief of this programme that the elders ought to be given maximum support and protection to enjoy their rights.
This strategy conducts home visits, community mobilization campaigns, meetings with stakeholders who will be identified, radio programmes and as well as information, communication materials such as brochures and leaflets to reach out to communities and mobilizes their support for the program and the elderly.
This is done by among other things, strengthening enrolment of physically capable elderly into Self Help Groups. Self Help Group Approach has shown that it is tool that has great deal of positive potential in the overall wellbeing and livelihood of the elderly and their families.
The Elderly Service currently operates three centres around Mzuzu in the locations of: