Determinants of Quality of Life of Older Persons in Rural Uganda
Limited research and the dearth of information on older persons in Uganda is a matter of serious concern. This led to a study whose main purpose was to investigate the determinants of quality of life of older persons in rural Uganda. Physical health, intimacy, and social participation are the three dimensions of quality of life that were covered in this study. Four districts were randomly selected in a cross sectional study carried out from February to March, 2017. Primary data from 912 older men and women age 60 years and above were collected with the help of interviewer administered questionnaire. A total of 8 Focus Group Discussions and 8 Key Informant Interviews were conducted to collect qualitative data. Ordered logistic regression was fitted to study the determinants of quality of life of older persons. The results show that being male older person, rich, control over household assets and engaging in physical activity had positive association with good physical health. On the other hand, being of advanced age of 80 years and above was associated with poor physical health. Being male, residing in central and northern Uganda and being in the middle wealth quintile had positive association with high intimacy. Being HIV positive was associated with low intimacy. The findings further reveal that control over household assets by children, having no occupation and being uneducated relative to secondary education were positively associated with high social participation. Being male and being in the middle quintile of the wealth index had positive association with good quality of life. Over all, residing in western Uganda, and having HIV sero positive status was associated with poor quality of life. To improve the quality of life of older Ugandans, the study recommends that interventions should aim at encouraging older persons to embrace active ageing. Young people should also be encouraged to remain physically active so that they reach old age when they are physically healthy. Older persons should be economically empowered through schemes such SAGE and other government programs like NAADs. HIV prevention interventions such as safe sex education should not exclude older person.