Culture, tradition, misconception hinders acceptance of old peoples’ home in Nigeria
Dr Hope Bell-Gam, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, has identified culture, reservations, traditions and myth as some hindrances to the acceptance of old people’s home in the country.
She made this known at the maiden Africa Regional Stakeholder Group Conference on Ageing in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to her, lack of understanding, culture and education militated against the need to have a home for the older persons in the society.
Bell-Gam also attributed lack of funding, lack of interest from government and stakeholders as factors that militated against the progression of having homes in the society.
She also noted that because putting your aged parents in a home was not culturally accepted in the society, the older persons themselves found it difficult going to the homes.
She said that data collected in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, showed that there is just one old people’s home with 37 bed spaces which is owned by the Catholic Church.
She further said that the home which had more women than men also lacked some basic amenities.
She however said that it was imperative for a home to have all the requirements for it to be acceptable and conducive for the older persons to live.
Bell-Gam, therefore, urged the government, stakeholders and other intended parties to fund old people homes as well as work together in ensuring a better home for older persons.
Similarly, Prof. Mustapha Namadi, Associate Prof., Department of Sociology, Federal University of Kashere, Gombe State, said that population of the older persons are increasing rapidly due to improvement of health care services.
Namadi also said that the common reasons that hindered the potential visit to health facilities were shortage of money, lack of family support and distance from the health facility.
Namadi noted that those that have family support were more likely to access health care which contributed to longer living of some of the older persons.
He, therefore, underscored the need for provision of nearby health care services for older persons in order to maximise the benefits of primary health care services.
He also recommended the dissemination of health Information on appropriate health care services as a strategy to address the health needs of older persons.