Authors: Phadoongsit Chamnanborirak and Kittisak Kraichan
Abstract: This research aimed at 1) studying current situations facing the senior people in Donwan sub-district; 2)discovering general social conditions and cultures in the targeted community in support of the seniors; 3) examining a form of participation among public health volunteers in village concerning the caring of seniors using a mixed research method, consisting of qualitative and quantitative ones, covering the areas of Donwan sub-district in Muang district of Maha Sarakham province with 4 main target groups including 1) Ninety public health volunteers based in a village; 2) Thirty senior people suffering from chronic coughing; 3) Twenty five informants providing information about the senior people; 4) Thirty five general people forming a forum for exchanging ideas. Employed research tools included in-depth interviews, structured interviews, group discussions and participatory observations through various activities; such as, organizing a forum for exchanging ideas in each target group in development planning, conferencing and organizing a workshop and making conclusion in a report for public distribution based on methods of mutual exchanges, learning and participations. Results of the study consisted of 1) regarding current situations facing the senior people in Donwan sub-district, it was found that implications included a lack of understanding in self caring and economic effects and an anxiety in daily situations resulting in lowering effectiveness in self caring; 2) regarding general social conditions and cultures in the targeted community in support of the seniors, it was found that the examined community was traditional with practices and ways of living being passed on from ancient times featuring conservations, promotions and renovation of their cultures as folk wisdom, especially the use of traditional herbs in community and having the elders as a leader in religious ceremonies; 3) regarding a form of participation among public health volunteers in village concerning the caring of seniors, emphasizing their responsibilities, it was found that implications facing the volunteers included the majority of them lacking an experience and knowledge in their work including the use of medicine, provision of advice in first aids and application of folk wisdom in medication.
Keywords: participation; village health worker; elderly; chronic disease