Moses Changala is a lecturer in the School of Education, Department of Adult Education and Extension Studies at the University of Zambia. He holds a Ph.D in Adult Education with focus on Gerontology. He teaches Psychology of Adult Learning, Programme Planning and Evaluation in Adult Education and Gerontology. He has authored a number articles on ageing, institutionalisation of the aged and education vis-à-vis the aged. He has also presented papers at both local and international conferences. Moses' current areas of research interest include social protection, life-long learning, educational gerontology, sports and ageing and gender issues. He wishes to widely research and publish in these areas.
Physical activity and sport for the aged in old people’s homes in Zambia
Globally people are living longer and the aged constitute a significant segment of the world’s population. There is evidence that physical activity improves the health and wellbeing of older people. Sports participation is one domain where the aged can be physically active. The study examined the need for appropriate physical activity and sport in old people’s homes in Zambia. The study was guided by activity theory of ageing. It was a descriptive survey using a mixed method approach. The study population comprised all the aged residing in the 9 old people’s homes in the country and their caregivers. The sample consisted of 165 purposively selected aged persons and 17 caregivers. All the respondents were interviewed using semi-structured interview guides. Qualitative data was analysed thematically while quantitative data was analysed to generate frequency distribution tables and percentages. The study revealed that the aged in old people’s homes needed physical activity and sport to keep them busy and healthy and to overcome boredom and idleness. The study concluded that despite the benefits associated with physical activity and sport to older persons, there was little or no effort to provide these in old people’s homes in Zambia. The study recommended that relevant physical activity and sport should be provided to the aged in all old people’s homes in the country. It also recommended that caregivers should undergo training to equip them with knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies in designing relevant programmes for the aged aimed at improving their wellbeing and welfare, including provision of physical activity and sport.