Virtual Conference

R.M. Ocharo

University of Nairobi, Kenya

Title: Social Isolation and Food Insecurity Among The Aged In Kenya: The Extent To Which The State Has Honored Its Policy In Ensuring The Welfare Of The Aged

Abstract

This article is about social isolation and food insecurity among the rural old people in Kenya. The Kenya policy on aging (2008) sets a framework of addressing the welfare of the aged. The cradle of this policy is twofold: One is the emerging trend of diminishing roles of the elderly people in contributing to national income and two is the weakening of the traditional social structures which provided for welfare including welfare services for the aged. The study sought to answer the following speci?c questions: To want extent are the rural old socially connected? And what is the level of Food Security for rural citizens aged 60 and above? The objectives of the study were to determine the social networks and therefore, social capital citizens aged 60 and above have and to assess the level of Food Security of rural citizens aged 60 and above. The critical interrogation therefore, is whether the state is honoring its policy promises especially in ensuring the welfare of the aged. A total of 117 elderly people (age 60 and above) were randomly sampled. Data was collected using interview a schedules which was designed to capture information on social isolation and sources of food consumed. To test Food Security level, a modi?ed Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) score was used. The ?ndings of this study was that only 43 percent of the old people are living with a relative in the same house. The rest (57) where living alone. It was established that 82 percent purchased food from the market. On food consumption there was 100 percent skewness towards grains and cereals (every person reported to be consuming this on a daily basis). On average the older persons in this study have a score of 4.04 X10/9 = 4.5 and falling in the class of food insecure without hunger based on the classi?cation scale.

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