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It is no longer stories that the population is globally aging. The growing number of the ageing persons has posed a great challenge on families and policy makers to provide for their health and daily needs. The study examines the characteristics of ageing population in Dogon Dutse Community of Jos North Local Government Area, Plateau State. Random sampling technique was used to collect data from 50 respondents using questionnaires and were managed using Microsoft Excel and SPSS 20. The findings reveal that majority of the respondents were males, only 18 were females. Most of them attended informal/Qur’anic education with haven attended secondary school and fewer haven attended tertiary. It also reveals that the respondents came from different places both within and outside Jos. It shows religious significance, income levels, type of housing and current health conditions of the respondents. The study also reveals the challenges the ageing population are facing with some having been harassed and some discriminated against for their age. It also provides suggestions on elderly contributions and how the ageing population can be best cared for. Chi-square was used to test the significance of the study. The study recommends good food/balanced diet, care, family support and community participation for the elderly will be a good way in looking after the ageing. Places of worship, NGOs and the government should help in providing for the old.



1.1         Background of the Study

Worldwide, the number of persons aged 60 and over has been increasing at an unparalleled rate. In 1980, there were 378 million people aged 60 and above; 3 decades later, this figure doubled to 759 million and by 2050 is projected to rise almost threefold to 2 billion people (United Nations, 2010 and WHO, 2013). In almost all the regions of the world, the ageing population is growing faster than the total population (United Nations, 2009). In particular, the ageing population in developing countries has a higher speed of growth than in developed countries. Compared with other regions of the world, the population of Africa is growing older faster, at a rate of 2.27% (United Nations, 2013). Although the size of the aging population in percentage terms is expected to remain small, the absolute number of ageing persons is expected to increase dramatically over the next few decades. According to WHO (2013) and UN (2010), the world population is rapidly ageing. Between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will double from about 11% to 22%. The absolute number of people age 60 years and over is expected to increase from 605 million to 2 billion over the same period.

Africa, like other parts of the world, is undergoing rapid demographic changes and although the population is largely youthful, the proportion of ageing persons has increase tremendously over the past few decades. The growth of the ageing population in Africa is accompanied by an increase in the modern age of the population, as well as changes in the dependency ratio, resulting in a decline in the proportion of aged 60 years and over. The changes in the age structure of the African population is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the continent. In Nigeria, those aged 65 years and above make up about 4.3 percent of the total population which was put at 140,431,790 million according to 2006 population exercise. The population of elderly (aged 65+) in Nigeria is on the increase as the crude mortality rates are gradually reducing.

Ageing in Nigeria is occuring against the background of socio-economic hardship, widespread poverty, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the rapid transformation of the traditional extended family structure. There is a potential for a rapid growth rate of the ageing popultion in coming year, with a lower growth rate among the younger population. The implication is a major change in the age structure of Nigerian society. Based on the findings of the National Census conducted in 2006, the National Population Commission confirmed an increase in the percentage and number of those aged 60 years and above. In the coming year, the ageing population is expected to increase and life expectancy rate will gradually increase with significant social and economic implications to the individuals and national government. For example, the old-age dependency ratio is not high at present (at least compared with the developed nations), but it will increase in the coming year. This serves as pointer to problems to come.

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