Saint John of God | Services for the Elderly
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Services for the Elderly

The Saint John of God Hospitaller Services Malawi introduced The Elderly Programme in 2014, aimed at addressing the holistic needs of the older population in Mzuzu. The programme currently provides services to 280 elderly people over the age of 65. A home based service is also offered to those who are unable to attend the centre due to ill health or frailty. As part of the programme two centres dedicated to the elderly have been opened in Mzuzu.


The results of a needs assessment study in 2014 ‘The Elderly in Mzuzu – Malawi’ showed that the elderly have a huge burden of care. This is largely due to the missing generation due to the AIDS epidemic. The older generation/grandparents have assumed the role of parent to their grandchildren left behind.

Health Care Provision addresses health needs through assessment, treatment, referral, provision of physiotherapy services and meals at the centre and supplementary feeding for the home-based service users.


Psychosocial support addresses the psychological and social needs that the service users encounter in day to day life which have negative impact on their quality of life. Many of the elderly people have experience loss – either of their children or of their physical capabilities.


The Leisure and recreation programme recognises service users need to socialise and also relax to enhance physical and mental well-being. The programme facilitates the provision of recreational activities to enhance their wellness.


Adult literacy programme exposes the service users to learning to enhance their reading, numeracy and writing skills. Needs assessment showed the majority of older people finished their education at a primary school level.


Community education and advocacy facilitated through awareness sessions to promote the rights of the service users.


Economic empowerment the majority of issues service users experience are as a result of poverty, this component using a Self Help Group Approach facilitates empowering strategies to enhance economic, social and political empowerment of the service-users.