KNOWLEDGE AND FACTORS INFLUENCING SOCIAL WELLBEING OF THE ELDERLY PERSON IN BAUCHI STATE

ABSTRACT
The elderly in Nigeria are denied resources by formal institutions towards retirement and comfort to life in advanced stage of their existence. Yet, they are the custodians of culture and tradition, mediators during conflict resolution and contributors in enforcing peace in their various communities. Thus, their social wellbeing is of paramount importance especially in Bauchi because it comprises of varying diverse cultures and traditions which can only be held confidential and transferred to the younger ones when they are due, by the elderly persons. This study therefore examined the general social wellbeing of the elderly, factors affecting their social wellbeing, types and sources of support as well as the coping strategies of the elderly in Bauchi, Bauchi State, Nigeria. The study used their social, economic and health conditions as indicators. Purposive sampling technique was adopted and a structured questionnaire was administered to 399 respondents from six wards in the Local Government Area. In addition, Focus Group Discussions were held and In-depth Interviews were conducted on the subject matter to complement the quantitative data. Data were analyzed with both descriptive and inferential statistics using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). The study showed that 77% of the respondents are in the early elderly (65-74) age group in which female respondents constitute 59.1% and males 40.9%. Farming and trading constitute the most important occupations engaged by the elderly with about 67.9%. However, majority of the elderly constituting 63.7% generate less than N 16,000 per month. The result of the principal component analysis (PCA) showed that factors such as health and nutrition of the elderly (11.50 eigenvalue), support given to the elderly (0.78 eigenvalue) and socialization and family association (0.60 eigenvalue) are the major factors influencing the social wellbeing of the elderly in Bauchi. Majority of the support for the elderly is gotten from the children with 49.1%, and the nature of support for the elderly appeared to be mainly financial support with about 49.1% in the study area. Going by this, the living standard of the elderly is concluded to be generally low. The study recommends that there is need for health insurance schemes for the elderly, special supply of food supplements for the old and also the provision of geriatric healthcare facilities like specialized hospital and old people's homes either by Bauchi State government or private individuals. There is also need for stakholders to design policies that will ensure the elderly are financially secured in their old age so as to improve their standard of living.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
Conventionally, “elderly” has been defined as a chronological age of 65 years old or older, while those from 65 through 74 years old are referred to as “early elderly” and those over 75 years old as “late elderly (Hajime et al.,2006). However, the evidence on which this definition is based is unknown. Ageing is referred to as the regular changes that take place in biologically matured individuals as they advance through life cycle (Harris and Cole, 1980; Gorman, 2000). Ageing is a relentless, biological imperative that begins with both male and female. No one escapes it. It is a process of getting old and all people affected by this process are regarded as the elderly. It is defined legally, socially and culturally (Nicholas, 1980; Okumagba, 2005).

Social wellbeing of old people are a reflection of the social wellbeing of society as a whole (Rosenmayr, 1979; Orire, 2021). The definition of level of living has been based on either needs or resources. According to Drewnowski (1974), the level of living of a population is the level of satisfaction of its needs attained per unit of time as a result of the goods, services and social wellbeing which the population enjoys in the unit of time. In talking about social wellbeing the term "standard of living" is widely used and it is sometimes seen merely as an economic concept, a measure of material wellbeing. The term social wellbeing is most often used with the same meaning as standard of living. The living standard of the elderly is mainly based on the capability of the next generation to meet their needs materially, financially and otherwise (Newman, 2003).

The global population is said to be ageing and it is ageing at an unprecedented rate of 2.8% annually. These facts have been subsequently recognized and affirmed (Asiyanbola, 2009). Both the number and proportion of people aged 65 years and above are increasing, although at different rates in different parts of the world. The number of older adults has risen more than threefold since 1950, from approximately 130 million in 1950 to 419 million in 2000, with the elderly share of the population increasing from 4 percent to 7 percent during that period (Waite and Hughes, 2004). It is worthy of note that political, social, health and economic factors determine to a very great extent, the social wellbeing of the elderly. The needs of elderly people in Nigeria has traditionally been the concern of the Federal, State, Local Governments and voluntary agencies (Anthea, 1991).

Adebowale, Atte and Ayeni (2012), noted that globally, the population of elderly is increasing and their well-being is becoming a public health concern. In Nigeria, poverty is widespread and elderly persons are at higher risk as a result of their age which reduces their working ability and leads to their retirement. Unfortunately, the Nigerian Government does not provide social security to the elderly and the supports from the family are fading out, hence, the well-being of elderly is compromised. Bauchi of Bauchi state has a good picture of such compromise as the elderly persons are really relying on the younger persons (Marcus 2007).

In some more advanced countries of the world like France, problems of the elderly such as social and medical issues are solved through provision of old people’s homes, free medical and health care delivery. Many of them are put into institutions, even though they are capable of active employment and life in the community. Not only is this very costly, but putting someone into a hospital bed and leaving them there often leads to psychological problems and chronic illness. Instead of aid being given to keep people at home, the disabled and elderly are treated as medical cases and kept in hospitals and institutions (Jean, 1980).

Old age as asserted by Bosanquet (1978), is considered to start from 60 years of age. It is worth noting that the physical changes that come with old age vary and do not necessarily develop at the same time in each old person. The United Nations (UN) held the First World Assembly on Ageing in Vienna in 1982 (United Nations, 1982). It recognized and affirmed that the global population was ageing and that it was ageing at an unprecedented rate. The United Nations then designated 1999 as “The Year of the Older Person”. In the second UN Assembly on Ageing in Madridin 2002, the Assembly adopted an International Plan of Action on Ageing, and a political declaration, recommending that older persons must be full participants in the development process in the 21st Century (United Nations, 2002). In addition to these specific Assemblies on older persons, population ageing has been prominent in the major international population conferences as well as in other key UN declarations during the past twenty five years.

Newman (2003), in a study of the social wellbeing of the elderly using the 1995 National American Housing Survey (AHS), noted that roughly 14% of elderly individuals had a housingrelated disability, 49% had at least one dwelling modification, and 23% had an unmet need for modifications. Because half of those with dwelling modification also reported unmet needs, the match between disabling condition and modification, not the presence of modifications is the key.

In Nigeria, those aged 65 years and above make up about 4.3 percent of the total population which was put at 140,431,790 million according to 2006 population exercise (National Population Commission, 2009). The population of elderly (age 65+) in Nigeria is on the increase as the crude mortality rates are gradually reducing (NPC and ICF Macro, 2009). The problems of an ageing population have not been seen as important in Nigeria because the aged are such a small proportion of the population. In most developing countries, formal social security systems have only limited coverage and inadequate benefit payments (Bailey, 2000; Colin, Turner, Bailey and Latulippe, 2000). As a result, the majority of older people depend on family support networks, a reality that is well appreciated in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa in the past (Van de Walle, 2006; Kaseke, 2004; WHO, 2002). However, it is recognized that traditional social security systems are evolving, attenuating and rapidly disappearing due to pressures from urbanization and industrialization (Tostensen, 2004). Youths migrate to cities while the elderly move back to the rural areas. Elderly persons in Nigeria reside more in rural communities, particularly those who have retired from their place of work (Tostensen, 2004).

Ageing in Nigeria is occurring against the background of socio-economic hardship, wide spread poverty, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the collapse of the traditional extended family structure. The roles of elderly in nation building at the various stages of their life cannot be overemphasized. They are the custodians of culture and tradition, are mediators during conflict resolution and contributors in enforcing peace in their various communities (Asiyanbola, 2008). The younger generation will know little or nothing about culture and tradition if the elderly who are to educate them are not been properly preserved. The elderly have served their motherland when they were young and active (Asiyanbola, 2009).

Many elderly reach retirement age after a lifetime of poverty and deprivation, poor access to health care and poor dietary intake that is usually inadequate in quality and quantity. These situations leave them with insufficient personal savings to meet their daily needs (Charlton and Rose, 2001). They are most at times denied of their right to receive their pension resulting on their poor well-being due to poverty and poor medical attention. The social wellbeing of the elderly is of paramount importance (Kimokoti and Hamer, 2008), especially in Bauchi LGA as the area comprises of varying diverse cultures and traditions which can only be held confidential by the elderly and transferred to the younger ones when they are due. It is against this background that this research was embarked upon. There is the need to understand the wellbeing of the elderly in Bauchi local government because the role of elderly person in every society is of utmost importance.

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
The attitudes of government towards the elderly in our contemporary society is not encouraging, as there exist no special resources directed to aid in making life better for them in the rural and urban Centre. The health care systems in most developing countries are appalling as government spend a small fraction of the budget on treating older adult illness and access to care is limited and not a policy priority (Poullier, Hernandez and Kawabata, 2003; Tollman, Doherty, and Mulligan, 2006). The attitudes of health care providers towards older people make their situations even more difficult. Many older people do not access health services due to inability to prove their age, aggravated by the limited availability of health services, equipment and expertise.

Although, declarations and plans have presented great opportunities for countries to mainstream ageing within the context of current global development initiatives, the recognition of population ageing by governments is still limited. This is the situation, especially in African countries, where other pressing priorities command most of the attention of policy makers, even though the process of population ageing is already visible in these countries.

In Nigeria, poverty is rife and elderly persons are more at risk since most of them are no longer in the economically active phase of life and there is no national social security to provide economic support in old age (Gureje, Lola, Ebenezer and Benjamin, 2008). Access to health care is severely limited both by paucity of health facilities and manpower and by out-of-pocket payment arrangement. Social network is dwindling and traditional family support is decreasing as urbanization and migration takes young members of the family away. Also, social changes are affecting the position of the elderly in the society and leading to a reduction in their social status and influence in the community (Gureje, and Oyewole, 2006).

A recent study by Okoye (2004) explored how Nigerian youths feel about care-giving for the elderly and their views about traditional ways of taking care of the elderly. The author observed in the study that the youngsters are not willing to live with their aged parents; neither are they willing to send their wives nor their children to the village to live with their aged parents. An earlier work examines the link between social support/networks, urban condition and physical wellbeing of the elderly (Asiyanbola, 2004).

In Nigeria, poverty and poor infrastructural development which perpetrated rural communities where most elderly people reside, constraint them from achieving good social wellbeing. Traditionally, the elderly are expected to rely primarily on their families for economic and emotional support. At times if family support mechanism fails, community help may be available. However, the collapse in family ties and structure also have negative effects on elders who are used to enjoying support from extended families where traditionally the elders are respected and properly catered for(Ajala and Olorunsaiye, 2006; Asiyanbola, 2009).

Due to the youthful nature of Nigeria age structure, government believes that the health problems that manifest among children and youths need more attention than that of the elderly. As a result, very little consideration is given to the elderly in Nigeria by both the research community and policymakers. Average household sizes are large and a substantial proportion of older adults live alone (Adebowale, Atte and Ayeni, 2012). The economies of the elderly (65 years and above) in Bauchi are predominantly supported by subsistence agriculture, which provides little or no pension coverage and limited health care services.

In Bauchi state, the population of the elderly was 4.6% of the entire population in 2005. It was estimated that old people would be 63,539 in 2005, 65,006 in 2007 and 70,909 in 2010. Despite the relatively small number of old people, it is expected that it will rise in the future. Adequate facilities for the treatment of geriatric diseases should be planned (Marcus, 2005).

In assessing and determining the nature of the social wellbeing of the elderly in localities, regions and countries, a lot of research work has been carried out to give better understanding about the subject matter. These are seen in the works of Adebowale et al (2012), who studied elderly wellbeing in a rural community in north central Nigeria. The study was designed to determine the prevalence and identify predictors of elderly well-being in a rural community in Nigeria. It was cross-sectional in design and adopted multi-stage sampling procedures to select 1217 elderly people aged 65 and above. Well-being was captured using scores from four domains; social, psychological, physical and environmental and the data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Chi-square and logistic regression models.

Orire (2021) also carried out a research on the spatio-temporal analysis of population aging in Kwara State. The study attempts a spatial concentration of the elderly segment of the population of Kwara State, Nigeria, using data from 488 copies of questionnaire. The data collected were summarized by means of descriptive and inferential statistical analysis.

1.3 Research Questions
i. What is the general social wellbeing of the elderly in Bauchi?

ii. What are the factors affecting the social wellbeing of the elderly in Bauchi Local Government Area?

iii. How are the elderly coping with their social, economic and health conditions in Bauchi Local Government Area?

iv. What are the sources of support for the elderly in Bauchi?

v. What kind or type of support do elderly people receive in Bauchi Local Government Area?

1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this research is to examine the social wellbeing of the elderly with emphasis on their social, economic and health conditions in Bauchi of Bauchi State,

Nigeria. The aim will be achieved through the following specified objectives which are to:

i. examine the general social wellbeing of the elderly in Bauchi

ii. analyze the factors affecting the social wellbeing of the elderly in the study area

iii. assess how the elderly cope with their social, economic and health conditions inthe study area

iv. assess the kind or type of support elderly people receive in the study area

v. identify the sources of support for the elderlyin the study area

1.4 The Scope of the Study
The study evaluated the general social wellbeing of the elderly persons in Bauchi LGA. Special consideration was given to health status of the elderly, their nutritional status and their supporting system which ranges from the source, nature and frequency of the support. For the purpose of this study, six (6) wards were purposively selected namely; Akurba/ Bakin Rijiya, Chiroma, Gayam, Makama, Shabu/ Kwandere and Zanwa of the thirteen (13) wards in Bauchi local government which is also the state capital of Bauchi State. The selection of the six wards is to have a high degree of coverage of the area and also have enough sample population. It is in these six wards that in-depth study will be carried out. This area was selected by the researcher due to the peaceful condition of the areas as against other areas that are still in conflict in the local government. It is within the temporal scope of this study to exhaust a period of six (6) months beginning from December 2014 to May 2021. The study was based on data obtained in the field using questionnaire survey which shall be answered by the elderly persons in the study area.

1.5 Justification of the Study
This study is very significant to an understanding of the social wellbeing of the elderly. The findings may be helpful to decision and policy makers on the elderly especially as it relates to the developmental process particularly in Nigeria. It is best convenient for the society to understand, identify and appreciate the factors responsible for the social wellbeing of the elderly in any given society.

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