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Title:Negotiating eldercare in Akuapem, Ghana: care-scripts and the role of non-kin
Author:Coe, CatiISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:care of the aged
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972016000735
Abstract:In contemporary Ghana, adult children are considered responsible for the care of aged parents. Within this idealized framework, two aspects of eldercare are overlooked. Firstly, such a narrative obscures the role of non-kin and extended kin in providing eldercare in southern Ghana historically and in the present. Secondly, it hides the negotiations over obligations and commitments between those who manage eldercare and those who help with an ageing person's daily activities. It is in this latter role that non-kin and extended kin are significant in eldercare, while closer kin maintain their kin roles through the management, financial support and recruitment of others. This article examines recruitment to eldercare and the role of kin and non-kin in eldercare in three historical periods: the 1860s, the 1990s and the 2000s, centred on Akuapem, in southern Ghana. In particular, the author shows that helping an aged person relies on previous and expected entrustments, in which more vulnerable, dependent and indebted persons are most likely to be recruited to provide care. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]