Introduction: Multi-morbidities among old age people is increasing in all settings particularly in urban settings. Therefore, the objective of this study is to explore lived experiences of elderly regarding their health problems residing in their homes in Lalitpur metropolitan city.
Methodology: Experiences of elderly regarding their health problems were explored through hermeneutic phenomenology approach. Twelve elderly residing in their homes were selected purposively. Data collection was initiated from taking ethical approval from of Institute of Medicine. Researcher herself collected data through in-depth interviews. Collected data were audio taped, transcribed and analyzed based on Giorgi's data analysis method. Additional data collected from field notes, observation records were triangulated.
Results: Most of the participants were experiencing more than one physical health problems (multi morbidities conditions). Among different multi morbidities diabetes and hypertension were two most prevalent problems. Almost fifty percent of elderly (5/12) were experiencing diabetes and hypertension. One third (3/12) were experiencing vision problems followed by gastritis, cardiac problems, breathing problem, pain in extremities, paralytic attack resulting decreased functional abilities and very few had thyroid and fall injury. Further, few elderly with cardiac problems and thyroid were unaware about their diseases conditions. Some elderly were not seeking health treatment for their hearing problem considering it as a part of ageing process. Along with this loneliness was identified among one third of elderly. Concerning experiencing social problems, few elderly experienced inadequate care during sickness, neglected in family and verbal coercion by their family members.
Conclusion: Discerned three themes regarding health problems experienced by elderly were multi morbidities, loneliness and experiences of psychological maltreatment by their family members. Thus, it can be concluded that physical health of elderly people need to be promoted through promotion of health education and awareness programs for preventing and managing physical problems towards active ageing. Social networking programs needs to be focused through promotion of family support programme for reducing loneliness and elder maltreatment among elderly in urban areas of Nepal.
Elderly, Health Problems, Hermeneutic phenomenology, Lived experiences.