Noah Lumun Abanyam (PhD), Kingsley Nnorom (PhD)


Despite advances in health care, many aged people in the developing countries still experience chronic, incurable progressive diseases and poverty as well as many other associated hazardous problems. In the past, especially in most traditional societies, when people grow old family and friends care for them at home until their dying days. There was a general feeling that parents make sacrifices for their children and, in turn their grown children are obligatory to take proper care of their aging parents. Thus, elderly care has traditionally been the responsibility of family and was provided within the extended family system (home). Presently, changes in the structure of the society due to contact with the west have resulted to geographical dispersion of families, and the tendency for family members to be educated and work outside the home. These tremendous changes has affected the aged care and today, the aged in most developing countries are facing many problems. Consequently, people are beginning to see old age as an age of increasing tension, frustration and insecurity. This study sought to examine the problem of the aged in developing countries. Elaine Cumming & William Henry’s Functionalist Disengagement theoretical model of reference was used in analyzing the study. The study found that poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, physical and mental health, transportation challenges, lack of shelter, isolation and loss of respect, thought of death anxiety, and discrimination in the employment sectors are the basic common problems facing the aged in Developing Countries. The study also revealed that health care providers in developing countries most often misdiagnosed or labeled depression of aged people as normal aspects of aging. The study recommends that aged persons are more likely to be poor than working age adults so social protection system should be established and deepened by government to ensure old age security in developing countries. More so, Government should make care of the aged a high priority issue and put viable strong mechanism to ensure the effective and efficient implementation. The study concludes that there is urgent need for government, charitable organizations, NGOs, social workers, care givers and other related development partners to address the problems of the aged in Developing Countries.


Problem, Aged, Care, Developing Countries, Theoretical Perspective.

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