How is dementia framed in this context? | South Africa How is dementia framed in this context? | South Africa

13 Aug 2022

Dementia is largely invisible in South African policies, with the exception of the Older Person’s Act. The Department of Social Development (DSD) has an underlying ‘Active Aging’ philosophy embedded in its Older person’s programme (also underlying the Older Person’s Act) that promotes the full participation of older persons in their societies, decision-making, and keeping them in their families/communities for as long as possible (Jordan, 2009). The State frames care for older persons largely as the family’s responsibility, with the threat of this philosophy equating to the promotion of (unpaid) care largely being located within the home/family. This burden of unpaid care fall especially on women with negative effects on their capacity to participate in the labour market, and positions women as being responsible for large-scale social and political challenges (Sevenhuijsen et al., 2003).


Jordan, C. (2009). Older Person’s Programme: Concept paper. Available from: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/other/2009/10/concept_paper-_programme_older_persons.pdf

Sevenhuijsen, S., Bozalek, V., Gouws, A. and Minnaar-Mcdonald, M. (2003). South African social welfare policy: An analysis using the ethic of care. Critical Social Policy, 23(3), 299–321. https://doi.org/10.1177/02610183030233001