Mary A. Iyam


The contribution of the elderly is enormous and is substantially to the progress of society through care given during their youthful age. Therefore, caring for them is of utmost importance to promote a sense of worthiness among them and enable them live a healthy life. Customarily in Nigerian society, children, family and community members are usually the care givers for the elderly. However, urbanization and its effects have caused this caring system to begin to gradually fade away. This study examines the traditional care givers of the aged, the challenges of care giving in a modern society and suggested mechanisms for adapting. The study adopted quantitative and qualitative research methods using questionnaire and 12 FGDs. Target population were aged (60years and older) with urban migrant children. Data were analyzed using ethnographic technique. The result showed that although some of the migrant children remit to their parents, this rarely improve their intra-household care. This finding was linked to absence of children to provide care for their aged parents. The aged adopted various coping strategies which included reliance on aged spouses, social service providers, church members and friends. It is concluded that rural-urban migration of offspring is gradually eroding the traditional social network in rural Nigeria. Recommendation was that families, NGOs and the three tiers of government should work together to address the problems emanating from migration as children seek greener pastures in urban centres.


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aged, family, urbanization, rural-urban migration, care-giving

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