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THE CHALLENGES CONFRONTING THE ELDERLY: CASE STUDY OVIA NORTH EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, EDO STATE

  • Type:Project
  • Chapters:5
  • Pages:75
  • Methodology:Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
  • Reference:YES
  • Format:Microsoft Word
(Sociology Project Topics & Materials)
THE CHALLENGES CONFRONTING THE ELDERLY: CASE STUDY OVIA NORTH EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, EDO STATE
CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION
1.1     Background of the study
Individuals begin their ageing process at the moment of birth, and go through the life course accumulating a range of experiences that may positively or negatively affect their capabilities and wellbeing in later years (Aquilino, 1990).Population ageing is a global phenomenon with broader implication for demographic, socio-economic and health conditions of any nation advancements in the field of medicine have led to greater longevity and by implication, a substantial increase in the population of the elderly.
It was revealed in (Wahab, 2013) that ageing is expensive and government in many developing nations is afraid of the costs of maintaining the increasing population of the elderly. Older people are a valuable asset to society, contributing in many ways (economically, socially, intellectually and otherwise,) to the progress of the society in their productive age. Unfortunately, in many societies older people have been left out at perpetual risk and uncared for. The aged is, therefore, deprived of smartness, promptness, dynamism, and confidence, which were the basic personality feature of youth and adulthood.
Furthermore, the optimistic outlook of the aged gradually turns into pessimism. Extrinsic changes among the aged are the effects of disorganized social institutions, values and norms arising out of surrounding, social forces of urbanization, industrialization, modernization, and globalization (Ushasnee, 2004), Hence, the disorganized society, family, and personality produced deprivations to the aged in the contemporary society.  
Even though the number and proportion of the aged is increasing globally, the rate of increase as well as the nature of institutional responses to their well-being differs from culture to culture.  As growing old comes with numerous challenges, some industrially developed countries tend to better prepare for it while some others, particularly Africa, are least prepared for this natural and universal process (Adeleke, 2014).
Historically, before colonialism and subsequent governmental social policies dealing with the elderly were developed, services to the elderly were provided almost entirely by the family members (Annsuppes& Wells, 2000). Traditionally in Sub-Saharan Africa, the main source of support was the household and family, supplemented in many cases by other informal mechanisms, such as kinship networks and mutual aid societies. This was possible in Nigeria since the society was homogeneous and with self sustaining system. Nigeria like other African countries became bettered by the forces of capitalism through colonialism in to money market economy, services and care of the elderly diminished (Zachariah, Phibine “& David, 2013). These changes associated with development and modernization, combine to weaken traditional social values and networks that stress the important role of elderly people in the society and that reinforce traditions of intergenerational exchange and reciprocity. Earlier researches on the situation of the elderly revealed the overlapping pictures of failure to find an institutionalized social support for the elderly (Wahab, 2013).
Often viewed and described as a dependent population, particularly in respect ofneeds (as longevity requires care and support as well as high cost of medical and health care), but the role of the elderly in nation building cannot be overemphasized (Adebowale, 2012). As the scholarsuccinctly put it, “they are the custodians of culture and tradition,  mediators during conflict resolution and contributions in enforcing peace in their various communities (Adebowale, 2012)’In traditional Nigeria societies, the family system and structure play a major role in the support for the older members. The extended family system strengthens the bond of relationships, giving every member a sense of belonging and advancing the interests. Thus, the task of care giving for the elderly lies primarily on the children, grandchildren, spouses, siblings, in-laws and other members of the family. This age-long tradition persists till the modern day Nigerian society but its effects had largely waned and eroded (Adeleke, 2014; Okoye, 2013; Oluwabamide and Egbafona, 2012).
 The influence of industrialization and urbanization on the family structure has been greatly striking and largely negative. The pressure to leave agricultural employment in rural areas for wage employment in the urban cities, increased personal roles and commitments, unemployment, economic crises, epidemics, widespread poverty, and numerous personal financial priorities and engagements are just a few of the factors that tend to impinge upon the bond of extended family relationships and the extent of care available from the primary care givers (Adeleke, 2014; Okoye 2013; Oluwabamide and Eghafona, 2012). This is compounded by the absence of government support and provision for the elderly as there is no specialized institution even the pension scheme designed to cater for the retired sector employees are often not beneficial tothem. This scenario creates a condition where the aged are neglected, left to fend for themselves and sometimes abused, having great implication on their physical and mental state.
1.2     Statement of the problem
Elderly people in Nigeria suffer a lot of economic and socialhardship in an increasingly hostile, competitive and intolerant society. Older people constitute one of the poorest groups in Nigerian society and aging in Nigeria constitutes a painful process attended by poor health, poverty and helplessness (Asagha, 2005). Older people rightly deserve the much needed care and support backed up by programme and policies that will enable them have control over their own live daily (Edward & Miller 2003; Banks, 2004).The good news is that aging is swiftly becoming a worldwide phenomenon and undeniably urgently serious policy concern which needs adequate recognition by government of developed nation where it has reflected in the government vital document of economic and social development strategy (Okoye, 2014).
In Nigeria, unlike in the developed countries, there exists no identifiable government intervention programmes dedicated to the welfare of the elderly persons despite their growing numbers. Though a mention could be made of the public pension scheme which places retired employees of government on life pensions, (Adeleke 2014) noted that this scheme is limited to less than 1 percent of the older population and that the whole scheme is marred by inefficiency, excessive bureaucracy and corruption, and sometimes portends danger to the beneficiaries as some became physically disabled or even give up the ghost in the process of assessing their pensions because of the tedious processes involved. Adebowale (2012) and Adeleke (2014) also noted that the majority of the elderly (including those who returned home after retirement) live in the rural areas where agriculture remains the major occupation and thus no opportunity to receive pension benefits from the government.
Besides absence of government intervention, the extended family system which traditionally used to be the source of primary care giving in Nigeria  is greatly weakened and disintegrating. According toOluwabamide and Egbafona (2012), “today in African societies, the traditional institution responsible for care giving is being dismantled”. Pressure from urbanization, industrialization, modernization, poverty, high cost of living, dwindling appreciation of the role and usefulness of the older population, individuality, geographical mobility of youthful population and others are reasons given for the collapse in extended family structure and interdependence.
The largest social protection programs for older people in Sub-Saharan African  are occupational pension schemes, but these typically cover only people who have worked in the public sector, in state enterprises, or in large private firms in the modern sector. The self-employed, workers in the informal sector, domestic workers, and the vast majority of the population living in rural areas and engaged in subsistence agriculture or other forms of subsistence living, majority of this group are excluded from formal social security schemes and must rely on their families for support and protection when they can no longer work (National Academic Press, 2006).
Nigeria’s economy is the most viable in Africa. Unfortunately, Nigeria is currently one of the countries in Sub Sahara Africa with a large percentage of the aged without any form of social protection. However, the high rate of unemployment and the poor state of infrastructural facilities obstruct the activities of the elderly which within the existing condition expose them to more danger and untimely death. The elderly have contributed to the economy and the society at large and this is an important stage of their life that should never be ignored, yet there is no formal social security programme to cater for this large population of the aged. Caring for the elderly introduces many problems that are very similar in most developing countries including Nigeria. The conditions under which informal and formal supports are delivered to the elderly may have a major influence on the social, economic and security of the pattern of care for the elderly.
This social exclusion has led to increase in challenges confronting this group as they are left to go through phases of life that hinder smooth aging and the elderly are faced with unwholesome challenges which include poverty, isolation, poor nutrition, poor quality health care, poor housing, hunger, inadequate domestic supports and other social services that will enhance smooth aging. These challenges call for adjustment., Adjusting to these and other changes is the central challenge in the social world of the elderly, as they may discover they can no longer cope on their own and have to rely on other people for care and support. Having to rely on caregivers for care and support introduces as new dimension to the social problems of the elderly (Akpan&Umobong, 2013.
The present imperative is that societies must respond to the extraordinary potential and range of variability in individual ageing, and seize the opportunity to rethink our notion of limits and recognize the far-reaching benefit societies stand to gain from the continuing contribution to the wellbeing of the elderly (John, 2000).
The foregoing situations put the elderly in Nigeria in precarious physical and mental conditions and by implication, they face numerous challenges. Some of such challenges as enumerated by Oluwabamide and Egbafona (2012) include poor dietary provision, poor physical and mental health, poverty, isolation and loneliness, loss of respect, witchcraft  accusations, poor housing and poor living environments and susceptibility to epidemics. The foregoing conditions also hold sway for the elderly  inOvia Northeast Local Government Area
1.3     Objectives of the study
 This study is designed in general terms to determine the challenges of the elderly in Ovia Northeast Local Government Area of Edo State. Based on the above. The study will focus on the following specific objectives:
To ascertain the social, physical and mental conditions of the aged in Ovia North East Local Government Area.
To investigate the challenges confronting the elderly in Ovia North East Local Government Area.
To ascertain the form of social security available for the elderly in OviaNorth East Local Government Area.
To suggest panacea to the challenges facing the aged in OviaNorth East Local Government Area.
1.4     Research questions
 This study will address the following questions:
What are the social, physical and mental conditions of the aged in Ovia North East Local Government Area?
What are the challenges facing the elderly in Ovia North East Local Governement Area?
What are the forms of social security supporting the elderly in Ovia North East Local Government Area?
How can the aged be supported to live meaningfully in Ovia North East Local Government Area?
1.5     Significance of the study
 The practice implication of this study and the findings can be used to inform policy makers and administrators to know the challenges confronting the elderly population in Nigeria and the need to respond through effective policy formulation and implementation. It would also contribute to the clarion call for policy intervention that will protect the elderly without any institutionalized social support and ameliorate the sufferings of the aged pensioners.
This study will be of great significant to the extant body of knowledge of academia, practicing social workers in both public and private sector and it will build on the existing knowledge and fill the existing vacuum in data on the elderly in Ovia North east Local Government of Edo state.Moreso, this research will educate the society on the enormous challenges confronting the aging population without institutionalized social support and its manifestation among the aged pensioners in contemporary Nigeria.

1.6     Area of the study
 This study was conducted among the aged male and female in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria.Ovia North East Local Government Area is one of the Eighteen Local Government Areas in Edo State of Nigeria. The Local Government was created from the district council under the local government law in 1976.
Ovia North East Local Government Area is one of the largest Local Government Area in Edo State with higher concentration of older people in Edo state which is the reason this Local Government Area was chosen for this study. It has an area of 2,301 km2 and a population of 153,849 according to the 2006 national population and housing census (NPC, 2006. The local government consists of thirteen wards for the purpose of easy administration, namely:
Okada West Ward 1
Okada East ward 2
Uhen ward 3
Adolor ward 4
Ofumwengbe ward 5
Oluku ward 6
Isiuwa ward 7
Uhiere ward 8
Okokhuo ward 9
Oghede ward 10
Iguo-oshodin ward 11
Oduna ward 12
Utoka ward 13

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Details

Type Project
Department Sociology
Project ID SOC0217
Price ₦3,000 ($9)
Chapters 5 Chapters
No of Pages 75 Pages
Methodology Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
Reference YES
Format Microsoft Word

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    Details

    Type Project
    Department Sociology
    Project ID SOC0217
    Price ₦3,000 ($9)
    Chapters 5 Chapters
    No of Pages 75 Pages
    Methodology Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
    Reference YES
    Format Microsoft Word

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