Senior Citizens and Their Roles in Family and Household

  •  S. M. Ayoob    


The family is considered as the most important and outstanding primary group in the society. The extended family type is diminishing in the modern era due to multiple and unavoidable reasons. However in some countries, people give their support to preserve extended family system at least keeping their senior citizens in the same household. Senior citizens also play active roles by supporting the family members in numerous ways. This study was conducted to identify the living arrangements, roles played by the senior citizens in family and household and the reasons behind the active role taking behavior among senior citizens. Out of 20 Divisional Secretariat Divisions in Ampara district, 08 Divisional Secretariat Divisions where Muslims predominantly live have been selected as the study area using simple random sampling method. The sample size is 392. The primary data was collected from key informant interviews, case studies and focus group discussions. The study highlighted that 95% of the senior citizens in the study area are living with their family members. Maintaining household activities, guiding the family members, providing counselling, providing security, socialization, mediating, providing monetary support and mobile role are the major roles played by senior citizens. The reasons for this active role taking behaviour are physical fitness and healthy lifestyle of senior citizens, disaster situation, economic condition, loneliness and isolation, lack of organizational structure and social recognition in study area. Beyond their old age, the contribution of senior citizens to the family is immeasurable.

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