From the website: "South Africa is ageing rapidly, sparking increasing interest both in what care is needed for older adults and on how it’s provided. Care needs are often measured in relation to the capacity to perform core activities of daily living. These include getting dressed, taking a bath, going to the toilet, eating, walking across a room (mobility) and getting into or out of a sleeping place (transferring). The assumption is that these activities are critical to a person’s ability to participate (and indeed simply survive) in society. But this raises key questions including how these needs are distributed, are they met, and are they met equally? In South Africa neither the state nor the private sector consistently provide institutions for people living in poor communities. Care facilities are usually confined to urban areas, and are often considered a last resort. Personal care is therefore assumed to be provided by family and household members, with one person taking on most tasks."
From the website: "Known as Agincourt, this project is now one of the longest running surveillance surveys on the African continent. The Agincourt Research Centre has developed a robust research infrastructure that undertakes work that is locally embedded and globally resonant, and is responsive to intractable health and development challenges confronting rural South and sub-Saharan Africa. ... Health, population and social transitions are underway across the world. Africa too is being affected. Given that we are all living longer, healthy ageing has become an important goal. This is so that we remain socially and economically productive and engaged in society. Less appreciated is that the quality of later life is largely determined by behaviours and experiences earlier in life. Hence the vital importance of the social determinants of health. These include schooling and education, employment and income, environment and access to natural resources as well as social networks. In addition, pensions and other non-contributory social grants are critical policy instruments that carry benefits for the health and well-being of older people and their families, particularly children. The nature and pace of change is proving to be rapid. This is particularly true in rural settings which is why it has been vital to build a strong evidence base for policy making. It also matters because an ageing population affects countries in multiple ways. In South Africa, some of the biggest effects have been the increasing costs of health care. This is because longer life expectancy has meant that there are growing numbers of people on antiretroviral therapy. This, in turn, has led to many having co-morbid conditions that can be challenging to manage medically. These include noncommunicable conditions such as diabetes and hypertension."
From the website: "We interviewed 5,059 adults 40 years and older. We assessed orientation (whether a person recognised who they were, where they were, and what time it was), and immediate and delayed recall of 10 words read out loud. Overall, 8% of the population had cognitive impairment, with a significant increase in prevalence by age (2% in those 40-44 years older compared to 24% in those 75 years or older). This is similar to the limited number of other studies in sub-Saharan Africa. The same trends are seen around the world. But direct comparison can be difficult due to differences in the tools used to measure cognition and the different composition of study participants."