Socio-Psychological Problems of the Aged Yoruba and Hausa Dwelling in South-Western Nigeria

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aged constitute a repository of wisdom and experiences. The complex socio-economic difficulties experienced in developing countries has led to the neglect of the aged, and the strategies for ensuring a guaranteed social welfare package for them are increasingly being ignored. This study examined the socio- psychological problems of Yoruba and Hausa dwelling in South-Western Nigeria. Descriptive survey research design was employed for the study. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select 300 respondents. The main instrument used for data collection was structured questionnaire, complemented with Oral Interview. The findings revealed that there is significant difference between the traditional social welfare of the aged Hausa and Yoruba. The findings also revealed that there is significant difference between communication media used for ameliorating the socio-psychological problems of the aged in Hausa and Yoruba community. The findings showed that there is significant difference between traditional social welfare policies of the aged Hausa and Yoruba of Nigeria. It was, therefore, recommended that the children and kins of the aged make provision for their parents, encourage their domestic rehabilitation, attend to their socio-psychological problems and reinforce their communication media to promote longevity of life. The aged too should make adequate provision for their old age through investment in viable shares, children education from their youthful age and other investments that can secure comfort in their old age.

Keywords: Socio-psychological, Problems, aged dwellers, Nigeria.

Introduction

Ageing is a universal phenomenon that is obvious as well as inevitable. Needless to say that, every old age is a significant stage in life and normally related to life expectancy of given area, hence the conditions and the needs of aged becomes imperative. Preparation for old age cannot be over emphasized. Ageing can be observed as a consistent pattern of change that every human being undergoes, starting at a very slow rate at around age 30, and progressing at a more rapid rate beyond age 65 ( Olowookere,2003) Ageing is a sensitive and seriously regarded issue and it is a process of becoming older. The aged in Nigeria are highly revered, respected and often held in great esteem.

The aged are often seen as the custodians of knowledge due to their experience in life. The population of old people throughout the world is increasing at a very rapid rate. The most rapid increase is taking place in the developing world, with Africa alone projected to have between 204 and 210 million old people by the year 2050. This unprecedented rise in the number of old people presents fundamental socio-economic difficulties. Sociologically, they are seen as the organizers of the society, and as people through whom intergenerational beliefs and customs are transferred to the younger generations. However, these changes demand that the governments, the private sector, Non Government Organisations and the civil society in general be prepared to deal with them, bearing in mind the special needs of the old people.

Essy (2002), opines that old people are particularly disadvantaged due to lack of social security especially in the part of the world, for the everyday social and economic needs. The care and support by the family and community that were taken for granted in the past have stopped, because of changes in the society associated with urbanization and development in general. In some communities in Africa instead of relaxing and enjoying old age, the senior citizens are obliged, once again, to take up the responsibility of caring for children and young adults suffering from HIV/ AIDS related problems or migrate. Apart from the children, old people are the social group most vulnerable to the numerous ills facing Africa: poverty, food insecurity, civil strife, armed conflict, violence, inadequate social welfare services, to mention but a few. …