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In Kaduna State, poverty is rife and the aged are more at risk as most of them are no longer in the economically active phase of life and there is no national social security to provide economic support in old age. The study examines the living conditions, coping strategies, the determinants of wellbeing of the aged as well as their type and sources of support in Kaura Local Government Area, Kaduna State, Nigeria. Data on the socio-demographic characteristics and general wellbeing of the aged were collected with the aid of a structured questionnaire, In-depth Interview and Focused Group Discussions (FGDs). Respondents were selected through systematic sampling techniques by picking on every third house except in a situation where an aged person is not found, the next house is picked. A total of 400 aged males and females responded to the questionnaire administered. The data were analyzed statistically using descriptive statistics. Majority of the aged people were grand multiparous females that engage in farming as a source of livelihood. About 49% of the respondents have been hospitalized since their 60th birthday and were without any fixed source of income. About 24.5% respondents were on special diet due to ailments and most of them could not afford their diet as often as required. About 42.3% get their drinking water from mono-pump and only about 21.3% boil the water before drinking. There were no recreational clubs and old people‘s homes, hence about 53.3% get recreated by strolling, and they live alone, without anybody to take care of them. About 54.5% feed adequately by either collecting food on credit or rely on others for food in order to survive. Food, money and shelter are being provided to the respondents by their children and relatives, so where the children and relative are unsupportive, such aged individuals have to struggle really hard so as to survive. The result of this study reveals that the aged in Kaura Local Government Area are not faring well. This emphasizes the need for the Government and other relevant bodies to formulate and implement policies like free medical care, making available and accessible food and clothes. Further efforts should be made by the government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to establish institutions (like old people‘s homes and generic hospitals) whose primary goal will be to accommodate and cater for the aged in the society, particularly those who are living alone.
1.1 Background of the Study
One of the most remarkable demographic developments in modern times is
theprogressive ageing of the population itself. In virtually all countries, themost elderly of
the older generation (often referred to as the ―oldest old‖) is growing fasterthan its
younger segment.Indeed, according to the United Nations Population Division
(2002)projections, the average annual growth rate of persons aged 80 years or over
(3.8%) iscurrently twice as high as the growth rate of the population over 60 years of age.
Moreover,the proportion of those older than 80 is projected to increase almost fourfold
over the next 50years to 4.1% in 2050. Currently, in Germany, about six million
inhabitants are over theage of 75 (7.1% of the population), a figure projected to increase
to over 13 million (18.6% of the population) by 2050.
The elderly or the aged consists of ages nearing or surpassing the average life span of
human beings. The boundary of old age cannot be defined exactly because it does not
have the same meaning in all societies. Most developed countries have accepted the
chronological age of 65 years as a definition of ‗elderly‘ or older person, but like many
westernized concepts, this does not adopt well to the situation in Africa. While this
definition is somewhat arbitrary, it is many times associated with the age at which one
can begin to receive pension benefits. At the moment, there is no United Nations standard
numerical criterion, but the UN agreed cutoffis 60+ years to refer to an aged population.
Well-being is a general term for the condition of life of an individual or group, for
example their physical, social, economic, psychological, spiritual and medical state of
life. A high level of well-being means in some sense the individual or group is
experiencing positive and satisfactory state of living, while low well-being is associated
with negative aspect of life. Although, there has not been a clear definition established for
wellbeing, it can be defined as ―a special case of attitude‖(Louis and Shlomit 1982).
Socio-economic hardship, mass poverty, changing social and religious values, influence
of western culture are among the factors that have broken down the traditional extended
family and community care system that look after the welfare of elderly citizens in
Nigeria. Even outside Nigeria, most of the elderly people suffer from some basic human
problems such as poor financial support, senile diseases and absence of proper health and
medical facilities, exclusion and negligence, deprivation and socio-economic insecurity
(Rhaman, 2000). They are most at times not paid their pension resulting in their poor
wellbeing and poor medical attention.
Given the assertion by Asiyanbola (2008) that the aged have contributed significantly to
the growth and development of their mother land, the physical, social and even the
psychological wellbeingof the elderly is of paramount importance (Kimokoti and Hamer,
2008), especially inKaura Local Government Area where like in other African societies,
their roles cut across several aspects of life. It is against this background that this research
is embarked upon.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
In Kaura Local Government Area, poor infrastructural development which characteri
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