Understanding the lived experiences Caregiving for Children Living with Disabilities in Mukuru Slums, Kenya; Implications for Health and Wellness in Caregiving
Caregivers are entrusted with provision of the needs of those who are incapacitated by disabilities in the society. However, they face many challenges in the process of caregiving. This study investigated the health and wellbeing challenges experienced by caregivers of children living with disabilities and to explore the coping mechanisms employed by caregivers of children living with disability. It adopted descriptive cross-sectional study design and a qualitative phenomenological method of data collection. In-depth interviews were conducted to collect data from sixteen (16) primary caregivers of children with disabilities. Data were audio recorded, transcribed and analyzed using Max Qualitative Data Analysis Software Version 12. Authority to collect the data was sought from county government Embakasi Constituency. The study established health consequences of caregiving included physical activity limitations, physical exhausted during caregiving, side effects of some of the medications and risks of developing high blood pressure, ulcers and depression. The study concludes that caregivers of Children Living with Disability face unique social, economic and health and wellbeing experiences. The study therefore recommends programs aimed at addressing such challenges as a necessary public health initiative.