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For some, growing old has been an opportunity to stand back from daily lfe and to enjoy some personal time. For others though, this has been a time when, traditionally, some forms of childcare have been the norm. The sometimes idealistic picture of quietude in old age is, for many, now being shattered by the HIV pandemic. A complete reversal of roles has occurred, where the elderly now care for the sick and dying members in their family and rear their orphaned and vulnerable grandchildren. For most elderly people a future where they are cared for by their family in their old age is virtually non-existent.

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) became aware of this issue  for grandmothers and began to seek out women who are experiencing difficulties and either assist them directly or ensure that they would receive assistance from the appropriate source in government or civil society.

This case study outlines the issues, and describes the work of LHR with older people. This document is one of a number of publications highlighting learning during the second phase of JOHAP (April 2002-March 2005).

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