Relationship between Ageing and Self-Worth of the Elderly in Maina Village, Nyahururu, Kenya

Nancy Njoki Irungu, Kinzi J. Melea, Barasa Enos


The process of ageing is a natural phenomenon that starts at birth progressively ending at death at which the individual is exposed to social, psychological, physical, and emotional vulnerabilities. With improvement in health care there is increased life expectancy and consequently the number of the elderly in the world is more. This is complicated by modernization of societies through urbanization. This creates the need to investigate vulnerabilities of the ageing not only to make their life more fulfilling but also to harness their skills and knowledge. The overall purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between ageing and self worth of the elderly in an urbanizing settlement in this case, Maina village of Nyahururu town, Kenya. The study used Ex-post-factor research design. The target population included 300 male and female elderly people between the ages of 60 and 80 years residing in Maina village of Nyahururu Town; those working or not working or may have worked, and living alone or living with others. The sampling frame was a list provided by the local administration. A sample size of 36 elderly people was sampled using stratified sampling technique that regarded both men and women guided by postulations from Gay (1976) who observes that a sample size of 10% is considered minimum for large populations and 20% for small populations. The study employed random sampling procedure to select the study sample. The data in the study was collected using a structured questionnaire containing statements of preference on the domains being measured. Collected data was analyzed using the statistical package for Social Sciences windows version (22). Results were presented through frequency and percentage tables. The study showed revealed that self-worth of the elderly in Maina urbanizing settlement is influenced by whether they feel of value and thus important to their local community and the larger society. They also felt other people have a great part to contribute on how happy they feel, concluding that the self- worth of elderly is greatly determined by how other people treat them. The study recommends that the government and local administrators should deliberately co-opt ageing individuals who are able in the community activities. The elderly should be involved in areas such as security, community peace and harmony. This would in turn make the elderly feel of worth to the local community. In addition, policy requirements that consider the unique needs and living conditions of the elderly should be formulated. Housing and public facilities and transport should be user friendly to the elderly in order to make them feel an important part of society.


Keywords: Ageing, Self-Worth, Psychological well-being, vulnerability, Life expectancy, Natural phenomenon, Modernization, Urbanization        ,NGOs, Social economic-status

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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