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Sandra Rasmussen


The quality of life (QOL) of older adults in rural Ghana is of growing concern, locally and throughout the country. In Ghana, it is the tradition for family members to take care of older adults without any government support, but research has shown that changing economic and social structures make this tradition less optimal, so older adults suffer physically and emotionally. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived experience of QOL for older adults in rural Ghana. The ecological systems theory was used to explore the integral role of family support and QOL in the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and cronosystem. Giorgi and Giorgi’s phenomenological approach was used to guide the development of the interview guide and analysis plan. Six participants were interviewed, and the transcribed data were analyzed using the three interactive steps: phenomenological reduction (“bracketing”), description of the reduced (“imagined”) concepts, and search for essences. The results revealed that older adults can complete their daily activities without depending on others and locate healthcare services to maintain health, but they lack good transportation systems and adequate quality water. Safety in the community was a concern. Surprisingly, the result showed that the role of family in older adult care was minimal. It is recommended that further studies be conducted on the impact of family caregiving on QOL. This study promotes social change by educating healthcare providers in rural communities on the needs of the older adult population, specifically looking at how they can incorporate transportation as part of their healthcare delivery.

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