• Background of the Study

Economic security, health and disability and living conditions in old age are policy concerns throughout the world. Though the nature of the problems differed considerably from continent to continent and between and within countries and communities.  In African society the problems are not excluded. Traditionally in sub-saharan Africa, the main sources of supports and care for the aged is the household and family, supplemented in many cases by other informal mechanism, such as kinship networks and mutual aid society. Our culture as African’s demand that family members care for their aged and most families did this to the best of their ability 1.

However, total commitment to this care for the aged is declining due to pressures of everyday living and limited time and funds. beside this, our health care system are  yet to include special services for the aged and the altitudes of health care providers towards older people makes their situation even more difficult.2 Care for the aged in general practices therefore, is the “management and care of the health of the elderly”.3

According to World Health Organization a person is “old or Aged when he or she attends 65 years” 4. Is worthy to note that traditionally the aged are very important in any family or community. In Africa, poverty is rife and elderly people are more at risk since more of them are no longer in the economically actives phase of life and there is no national social security to provider economic support in old age. Access to health care is severely limited both by paucity of health facilities and man power. Umoh pointed out that “the gods of the children are the elder, for without them the existent of the children is nothing”.5 Because traditionally, there are things that is expected of any child in a particular family as far as this part of the world is concerned. In traditional setting, if a child rebukes his parents, that child deserves to die, for it is taboo and abomination which no man can stand. In African traditional society, older person head the family and the extended clan dominates a communities. They play leadership roles and are seen as repositories of wisdom, guardians of the ancestral values.

From the above, one could see that the aged are very important segment of our society and families and needs care and supports for survival. But yet, they appeared to be neglected and marginalized in the scheme of things in Enwang community in Mbo Local Government Area.

  • Statement of Research Problem

It is observed that the aged persons in Enwang community in Mbo Local Government Area find it difficult to cope with life because the environment are not conducive for them.  It is sometime common to see them by the sea side picking periwinkles or fishing for their daily bread and for selling. Some of this aged people cannot even walk down to the market to buy anything because there is no body to help them. Since there is no body to assist them, they have to struggle on their own to get to the market themselves. Children and family members of the aged appear to have abandoned them and travel to the city and nobody is left to take care of them. The aged are sometimes maltreated by their children and daughters in-law. This ill treatment is very common among the African families. Therefore, the aged are sometime said to be witches and wizards. This research works intends to answers questions such as; what does the Africans culture say about care for the aged and does the African community and government do anything about care for the aged?


  • Aims and objectives of the Study

The aims of the research include the following purpose:

  1. To examine the concept of care for the aged in African family system.
  2. To find out how the aged or elderly people are treated or cared for in Enwang community in Mbo Local Government Area.
  3. To identify how society, family, community and government can collaborates to care for the aged an Enwang community in Mbo Local Government Area.
  4. To investigate factors that leads to the gradual decline in family cares for aged.
  5. To examine traditionally, the important of the aged in Enwang community in Mbo Local Government Area



1.4 Scope and limitation of the Study

Though caring for the aged is a discipline that is multifaceted and often emotionally difficult for the caregivers, it could be studied from the biological, medical, sociological point of view etc. This project is limited in scope to Enwang community as a whole and any information obtained is treated as being confidential and is used for the purpose of this project only. Number of factors such as time factor and lack of relevant materials where the problems face by the researcher in the course of this research work. A research on its own will have its own problems such attitude of respondents with regard to filling and returning of questionnaire on time. Other problem that also try to hinder the progress of the study is scarcity of relevant materials for both where eventually overcome.



1.5 Methodology

In carrying out this research work, the descriptive and survey methods were adopted. The research made used of content analysis of primary and secondary materials which includes the use of library works (published and unpublished) materials, internet, conference materials, magazines, newspapers and interview were conducted and questionnaire administered. These were the techniques used for gathering the needed data for the study.

1.6 Organization of the Study

This research project would be organized into five chapter, Chapter one covers the general introduction, statement of research problem, purpose of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, research methodology, organization of the study and definition of the terms. Chapter two concentrates on the review of related literature on care for the aged in African family system. Chapter three deals with research methodology. Chapter four concentrates on data presentation analysis and discussion of findings. Chapter five will present the summary, conclusion and recommendations.

1.7 Significance of the Study

This research work will yield useful findings and these findings will draw attention of families, communities and government on the needs to care for aged in Africa and these will go a long way in helping the family, communities and government on how to improve on their methods of care for the aged. The study will form a reference material for future research studies, in care for the aged in Africa family system. This study will provides decisive information for planning and evaluating success of health services and interventions, it will help the planners and policy makers in their decisions and uphold existing framework on elderly care and support in Enwang community in Mbo Local Government Area. Finally, the recommendation advances at the end of the work will go a long way in challenging individuals, government and non-governmental organization, families etc to live up to their expectation by caring for the aged and also provide support for them.

1.8 Definition of Terms