Care for the Aged:
In Zambia, the concept of old people’s homes dates back as far as the pre independence era, when such homes were for non-Africans. The first home to be established was Mitanda Home in Ndola on the Copperbelt Province which was established in 1948 when a former army mess was turned into a governmental hostel for older persons after the Second World War. In September 1963, Chibolya Home in Mufulira also on the Copperbelt Province of Zambia was established to look after destitute white older persons who were left without support and care. The home was opened by the Rhodesian Government and was run by the Department of Social Welfare of that government. The two homes; Mitanda and Chibolya were only opened to Africans after independence.
is implemented through institutional and non-institutional programmes. On institutional programming, the Ministry runs two homes namely Maramba Old People’s Home in Livingstone and Chibolya Old People’s Home in Mufulira. The Department also recognizes other homes and supports them through grants. These are Divine Providence in Lusaka, St. Theresa in Ndola, Chibote in Luanshya all run by the Catholics, Mitanda in Ndola run by the Salvation Army, Mwandi in Sesheke run by the United Church of Zambia, Nkhulumazhiba in Sowelzi by Peace Embassy International (Pentecostal Church).
On one hand, the Ministry promotes non-institutional care as this enables the older persons to grow actively within mainstream society and allows for the general populace to tap into the talents and wisdom of the elderly. On the other hand, the Ministry is also cognizant of the challenges that older persons face in society and ageing has been included as a criterion on some Social Protection programmes.
This document sets out Minimum Standards for establishing and managing homes for older persons in Zambia as a basis on which to determine whether such homes meet the needs, secure the welfare and social inclusion of the targeted older persons. The minimum standards apply to homes for which registration as old people’s homes is required. These are homes providing short term or long term shelter to destitute older persons in need of care and protection. The purpose of the standards is to ensure that dignity and integrity are upheld in the care of vulnerable older persons in institutions in line with the National Ageing Policy of 2015 and other policies relevant to the welfare and needs of the old people such as the National Disability Policy of 2015 and the National Social Protection Policy of 2015
Government has been implementing social protection programmes such as the Social Cash Transfer Scheme and the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme to assist the vulnerable including older persons. Such programmes continue to benefit older persons who belong to a family or those who are heads of households. However, there are older persons who cannot be looked after within the extended family system. This has contributed to an increase in the number of old people’s homes addressing the plight of destitute older people. By 2014, the number of old people’s homes in Zambia had increased to ten (10) homes from the initial two (2) homes in the 1960’s. The increase in the number of older people also called for the need to ensure that the homes are guided by minimum standards of care for their operation to guarantee the welfare of older people. This is because older persons are prone to abuse, neglect and their rights being denied. It is a fundamental responsibility of the Government of the Republic of Zambia to ensure that older persons who end up in the institutions of care are protected and their integrity and dignity upheld at all times. Through these standards Government hopes to provide effective and efficient service delivery as well as creating opportunities to the vulnerable older people being cared for in the homes.