Older persons are known for wisdom because they have
experienced more days or years on earth more than others. At some point in
live, the older persons are disengage from their long life activities and thus,
they are deprived of some basic things. The society had been structured that
the older persons cannot hold some particular posts or performs some particular
activities. The last ASUU-LASU strike has some of the elements of retirement as
its core problem with the Government. The older persons are still generally
stigmatized, living below expectation and still relegated in the Sub-Saharan
Africa. The aim of this study, therefore, is to examine the means of
livelihood, living conditions and coping strategies of older persons.
Disengagement theory and conflict theory were used to explain the phenomenon.
The study made use of quantitative research method for data collection. The
quantitative method involved the distribution of 150 questionnaires but which
149 questionnaires were returned. This implied that there were about 99.3%
questionnaires returned. The quantitative method of data collection was done
through questionnaire distribution and analyzed via the software called
Software Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The data collected were analyzed
using simple percentage and frequency distribution. Three (3) hypotheses were
tested and all were significant. The findings of the study were that the older
persons were not been cared for adequately by their family members. The society
disengages the older people from its economic mainstream without a replacement
for their livelihood. It was also observed that the living condition of the
older persons in Ojo Local Government correlates with their livelihood. Their
statuses are relative low and thus their living conditions are relatively poor.
They are making efforts to improve their livelihood by engaging in various
economic activities. The study recommends that every family having older
persons should not abandon them but try everything possible to help their living
conditions. Furthermore, Government too should put the older people’s
livelihood at heart and make it visible in their policies. Furthermore,
Non-Governmental Organizations should also look into the plights of the older
persons in Ojo Local Government.
KEY WORDS: Livelihood, Living
conditions, coping strategies, older persons, Ojo LGA
Title Page i
Table of Content vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY 1
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM 3
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS 4
1.4 OBJECTIVES 5
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY 5
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY 5
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS 5
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 INTRODUCTION 7
2.2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 26
2.3 HYPOTHESES 28
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 INTRODUCTION 29
3.3 THE STUDY POPULATION 30
SIZE AND SAMPLING PROCEDURES 30
INSTRUMENT AND DATA COLLECTION METHOD 30
DATA ANALYSIS 30
CHAPTER FOUR: INTERPRETATION AND DATA ANALYSIS
4.1 INTRODUCTION 31
4.2 RESULT 31
4.3 TESTING AND ANALYSIS OF HYPOTHESIS 41
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMEDATION
5.0 INTRODUCTION 47
5.1 SUMMARY 47
5.2 CONCLUSION 48
5.3 RECOMMENDATION 48
1.1 BACKGROUND OF
not question the idea that age and ageing are linked to biological and
psychological development, but they cannot be fully understood without
reference to their social context. Just as race and sex were once seen in
purely biological and psychological terms but now viewed sociologically through
concepts such as ethnicity and gender, age can also be seen in sociological
terms. From this perspective, age can be seen as, in part, a social construction.
The meaning of old age varies from society to society. In the traditional
societies, the elderly are revered for their wisdom and have high social status
and considerable power (Haralambos et al, 2008). The social status of the
elderly have, however, crashed in the contemporary society. At this particular
stage, most of the older persons might have been disengaged from their
long-life activities. Poverty, emotional and material neglect are the major
challenges faced by the aged especially when their family members are nowhere
to be found in terms of support.
countries of the world have accepted the chronological age of 65 years as a
definition of ‘elderly’ or older person, but like many westernized concepts,
this does not adapt well to the situation in Africa (World Health Organization,
2014). Age classification varied between differences or functional ability
related to the workforce, but more often than not was a reflection of the
political and economic situation of countries, which could also include the
life expectancy of the people of the country. Many a time, the definition is
linked to the retirement age, which in some instances, was lower for women than
men. This transition in livelihood became the basis for the definition of old
age which occurred between ages of 45 and 55 for women and between the ages of
55 and 75 years for men (Thane, 1978).
was drawn to older populations in many developing countries, the definition of
old age many times followed the same path as that in more developed countries,
that is, the government sets the definition by stating a retirement age.
Considering that a majority of old persons in sub-Saharan Africa live in rural
areas and work outside the formal sector, and thus expect no formal retirement
or retirement benefits, this imported logic seems quite illogical. This is one
of the flaws of the definition of older persons from the western world because
most of the dwellers in the rural areas of the developing countries work in the
informal sector and the application of retirement to old age would not be
substantive to work for them. Further, when this definition is applied to
regions where relative life expectancy is much lower and size of older
population is much smaller, the utility of this definition becomes even more
limited. Thus, the definition of older persons shouldn’t be given from a myopic
point of view but should consider the fact that the human variation is not an
abstract concept but a global phenomenon and the all encompassing concept of
age should be put into consideration.
definition, such as chronological age or social, cultural, functional markers
e.t.c, is commonly used by, amongst others, demographers, sociologists,
anthropologists, economists and researchers, it seems more appropriate in
Africa to use a combination of chronological, functional and social
definitions. Despite Nigeria is considered and classified among the developing
countries, it still maintain the definition of 65 years (retirement age) for an
of older people is on the increase worldwide. Despite the fact that the life
expectancy of humans in developing countries like Nigeria is lower than that of
the developed countries. Advances in medicine had contributed to this
phenomenon which had seen the population of the Western world to age gracefully
and constitute a old population while the developing countries is having a
young population due to high fertility rate and lower life expectancy..
in most nations of the world, persons below 15 years and 65 and above are
regarded as the dependent population which is in contrast to those who are
between the ages of 15 and 64 years of age, who are seen as the independent
population. The individuals who are 65 and above must have gone through the
first stage of dependency (0 – 14 years), second stage of being dependent
(15–64 years) and back being dependent again due to old age which must have
disengaged then from the active activities in the society.
means the way one earns money in order to survive. It also connotes the current
condition of individual and households and the ways or means via which they
reproduce themselves. Some of the socio-economic factors that may impact on the
livelihood of the older persons include relative wealth, poverty, access to
resources and ownership of property/assets (Amaike, 2005).
could be referred to the specific efforts, both behavioral and psychological,
that people employ to master, tolerate, reduce, or minimize stressful events.
There are two general coping strategies: problem-solving strategies are efforts
to do something active to alleviate stressful circumstances, whereas
emotion-focused coping strategies involve efforts to regulate the emotional
consequences of stressful or potentially stressful events. Research indicates
that people use both types of strategies to combat most stressful events
(Folkman & Lazarus, 1980). The older persons engage in different coping
strategies to keep body, soul and spirit together. For some of them who retired
in the formal sectors, the set up small or medium scale businesses like rental
services, renting out of building material among others to get their feet
grounded after they must have been disengaged from the activities they have
done for almost half of the life. Some other people, who had no opportunity of
such, go into alms begging and some others depend largely on family members and
Being old does
not necessarily make people poor, it is just that the risk of being poor
increases. Those people who are poor in old age are most likely to be those who
have earned least in their working days or worked outside the formal sector
where pensions and other benefits would be given to them (Moore et al, 2001).
1.2 STATEMENT OF
societies of the world, older persons must continue to earn their living so
long as possible they want to survive. However, the exclusion of older persons
from income-generating activities is common and livelihood recovery activities
are often planned without considering the capacities of older persons; For
example, government’s intervention programme like buying of tractors for the
older farmers may not be what the farmers need. Older persons may be more
affected during conflict because they are often custodians of the land that is
ravaged or occupied. Older women’s position in the informal economic sector can
leave them with few marketable skills and no retirement compensation. Older
widows, in particular, are often among the most marginalized in cultures where
the inheritance codes dispossess them on their husband’s death.
discrimination and stigmatization attached to the term ‘old age’ or ‘older
persons’ is not only a national issue but a global phenomenon as well.
In the recent
years, most developing countries of the world are adopting the system practiced
by the developed countries in which they help provide livelihoods in terms of
pensions on retirement in old age which may be sponsored by the state or
employer. We must, however, consider those that were never opportune to work in
any government parastatal or with a private employer as well as those that were
retrenched before attaining the retirement age.
what is visible to everyone is that supports given to older persons are chiefly
the work of their respective families, which means that any old person who
didn’t plan well for his/her old age and still lack a family to care and cater
for his/her needs is doomed. These old people engage in different activities
such as fishing, carpentry, butchery, site-labouring, farming and others go
into alms begging to keep body, spirit and soul together as coping strategies.
Most of these activities are aimed at strengthening their survival instinct and
for few others, to stay fit.
The cost on
health care is relatively high for the aged as they frequently have one health
issue or the other based on biological factors attributed to old age. The
little gotten to stay alive will be snuffed out on health care and for those
that cannot afford this or gave families to support them may either take to
aims begging or live with the health challenges till death take their lives
of living is another issue faced by the aged. There is no market anywhere that
sells same item at different prices using the working class and the non-working
class as criteria as regards to the standard of living. The problems faced by
the elderly are so numerous and the quality of life for the aged is pathetically
degrading in all ramifications.
are the means of livelihood available to older persons in Ojo Local Government?
is the current socio-economic status of older persons in Ojo Local Government?
the livelihood of the older persons affected their living conditions?
are the various formal and informal coping strategies available to older
persons in Ojo Local Government?
the older persons still largely stigmatized or discriminated by others?
examine the means of livelihood available to older persons in Ojo Local
discover the current socio-economic status of older persons in Ojo Local
examine if the livelihood of the older persons affects their living conditions
investigate the various formal and informal coping strategies available to
older persons in Ojo Local Government
investigate the extent to which older persons are stigmatized in the area.
The findings of
this study will be of immense benefit to the Government and bodies like
non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), Human Rights Activists etc.
Specifically it will help the government of Nigeria to plan, given that; the
problems faced by old people are exposed and adequately addressed. In the same
vein, it will add to the existing body of knowledge in the field of gerontology
or sociology of ageing by way of the data, review of existing literature and
recommendations that will be proffered in the course of the study.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE
For the purpose
of the study, the scope of the research work would be an examination of the livelihood, living conditions and coping
strategies among older persons in Ojo Local Government area of Lagos State.
1.7 DEFINITION OF
Livelihood is a means of
securing the necessities of life. It is a set of activities which involved the
securing of food, water, shelter, clothing and the capacity to acquire above
necessities working either individually or as a group by using endowments (both
human and material) for meeting the requirements of the self and his/her
household on a sustainable basis with dignity (Wikipedia). This is the same
thing Abraham Maslow referred to as the ‘physiological stage’ in his hierarchy
of needs. It is something that provides income to live on, especially a paid
work (Encarta dictionary).
Living conditions are the factors or
circumstances affecting or threatening the situation someone is living or
Coping strategy is the expecting
conscious effort to solve personal and interpersonal problems, and seeking to
master, minimize or tolerate stress or conflict (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/coping-strategy).
Coping strategies are the mechanism people put in place to counter the
conditions they find themselves.
Older Persons refers to people of
pensionable age. They are referred to as people who are in the last phase of
the human life cycle. These set of people are seen as the dependent population.
In some countries, it is 60 years and above while in others, it is 65 years and