Challenges faced by grandparents caring for AIDS orphans in Koster, North West Province of South Africa
Phetlhu, Deliwe R
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Caring for orphans who have lost their parents due to AIDS, and some of whom are infected, is an enormous challenge. This immense responsibility often resides with the grandparents, who are in most cases sickly and not financially capable to undertake the task. The objectives of this study were to explore and describe challenges faced by such grandparents and their needs while caring for AIDS orphans in Koster, North West province, South Africa. Maslow’s theory of human needs was used as a theoretical framework to guide the study. A qualitative approach with an explorative and descriptive design was used. Grandparents who cared for AIDS orphans and were assisted by non-governmental organisations were purposively selected. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 participants and thematic analysis was done to interpret the data. The findings revealed that the grandparents faced biophysical, socio-economic and psychosocial challenges and these impacted on their emotions; however, they indicated different coping strategies which were available to them. The participants highlighted that their main priority, as a need, was assistance with food supply for themselves and the orphans. The study concluded that the focus in attempting to meet the grandparents’ needs should not only be the basic order needs in Maslow’s hierarchy but all the other orders, as they have a great impact on both the grandparent and the AIDS orphan.