October 23, 2015

Cultural Perceptions Limit Care and Resources for Nigerian Elders

BY GlobalAgeing

Nigerian elders are largely revered for their wisdom and are considered a blessing within families. As a result, it is culturally unacceptable to place parents or grandparents under what is referred to as “external care”. It follows, therefore, that there are few assisted living communities and only 13 nursing homes in all of Nigeria.

Nigeria has the largest number of people over age 60 south of the Sahara. Sadly, incidences of abuse and neglect are reported both for those elderly cared for by families and those in an “external care” situation. According to Ventures Africa, “the inability for both organizations and family members to care for these citizens is evident in the number of elderly who beg in virtually every part of the country.”

These realities underscore the importance of the United Nation’s newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) with explicit reference to the elderly. They also reinforce the need to focus attention on addressing human rights abuses targeting the elderly.