Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Older People Reimagining and Envisioning Preventive Care Through Land Acquisition: Evidence From Rwanda

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Abstract:  This article presents findings about older people reimagining and envisioning preventive care through land acquisition in the Karongi district, Rwanda. My primary objective was to understand how land acquisition constitutes a means for older people’s preventive care arrangement. Ethnographic data were collected from 15 older people’s households. Empirical findings indicate that land scarcity makes it a coveted resource that attracts care around older people possessing it. Those unable to use their land rent it out to someone else who accepts to use the land and share the harvest equally with the owners. Furthermore, caring relationships between the landowner and the land user go beyond sharing the harvest to provide other forms of caring practices, such as assistance to access health care, firewood, and water provision, as well as helping older people sell their harvest. Renting out the land displays the image of an older person actively engaged with the community and who attracts caring practices using the land. Besides, land acquisition is the basis for intergenerational care negotiation, as expectations to inherit the land encourage children to care for their older parents. Thus, this article shows preventive care that is happening outside the realm of the Western biomedical model, but rather within an imagined model of owning an asset that benefits older people, their kin, and the community.

Keywords:  community care; intergenerational care; land, older people; preventive care; Rwanda



© Albert Irambeshya. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.