Status of life satisfaction attainment among elderly people in Solwezi Municipality of Zambia
Mubiana Sitali Kaiko, Emmy H Mbozi, Daniel Ndhlohvu
Life satisfaction is an indicator of the quality of life and is linked to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of all human beings, elderly people inclusive. Enhanced wellbeing would, in turn, promote good health. Studies show that Zambia’s population along with the global population is ageing and therefore the older individuals have started to account for a promotionally larger share of the population. Studies further show that attainment of life satisfaction in old age is crucial for enhancing well-being of human beings during the process of ageing (Motjuwadi, 2013; Nuehs 1990; Veenhoven, 1996). At the time of the study little was known on the status of attainment of life satisfaction among the elderly. Thus, the study sought to examine the status of life satisfaction among the elderly people. The The objectives of this study were to examine status of life satisfaction attainment among elderly people in Solwezi municipality of Zambia; explore promoters of attainment of Life satisfaction among elderly people; explore detractors to attainment of Life satisfaction among the elderly people; asses the adequacy of the Zambian National Ageing Policy in enhancing attainment of Life satisfaction among elderly people. The study utilized an Integrated Mixed Research Design with several data collection instruments namely: Document review guide, Interview guide, Observation check list and a Satisfied with Life Scale (SWLS) with Biographical data Questionnaire. A total of 101 SWLS Scales were administered on the elderly people with 100 percent response rate. Interviews were held with three key informants from National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), the district Social Welfare officer and the district Medical officer. The document review guide was utilized on the national Ageing Policy. The Observation check-list served the purpose of observing the respondents’ immediate surroundings. Primary data from the SWLS were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) while qualitative data was analysed by identifying emerging themes and data condensation method. It should however be noted that this paper reports only on the first objective; “examine status of life satisfaction attainment among elderly people in Solwezi municipality of Zambia”. Thus, the study findings on life satisfaction status showed that 58.4 percent did not attain life satisfaction, while 36.6 percent attained it. Overall, recommendations to government and relevant stakeholders were to: increased funding and access to social security schemes; devise a pension system that is inflation sensitive, encourage informal sector to embrace the culture of saving for old age, support traditional safety net by strengthening family ties.