Impact of Livelihood Activities on the Wellbeing of Elderly People in Matara District

W. V. W. G. Waniganeththi


Population ageing is emerging as the most important demographic phenomenonin Sri Lanka with far reaching socio-economic implications. The social securitynetworks for elderly in Sri Lanka are not capable to overcome the socio economicwellbeing of very elderly. The objectives of this study were to identify the impact oflivelihood activities on the wellbeing of elderly who engaged in livelihood activities,identify the elderly livelihood activities and the reasons for engaging in livelihood intheir old age.

Methodologies of this study were both survey and case study methods. Themain respondents of this study were elders, aged 60 to 74, who were engaged inlivelihood activity (economic activity) at present. A purposive sample of 60 (30 eachfrom urban and rural area) elders were selected for the questionnaire survey while 10case studies (5 each) were derived for in-depth discussions. Two GramaniladariDivisions were selected within the Matara District each from Matara (urban) andWeligama (rural) Divisional Secretariat Divisions to compare the urban- rural sectordifference.

The findings of this study emphasized that livelihoods engagement of elderlywho are between ages 60 to 74 has positively contributed to enhance their socioeconomic wellbeing. Further, the study highlights that an increase in their level ofincome has helped them to manage daily expenses by avoiding uncertainties of theirlife. Also, it helps to increase their nutrition level and as a result they can spend ahealthy life in their old age.

Key words: Elderly, Wellbeing, Livelihood

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