Care of the elderly in Nigeria: Implications for policy

Changing demographics in Nigeria, in addition to the breakdown of the family structure and absence of a social security system present unique challenges to the elderly in Nigeria. This paper analyzes the current policy and future issues concerning older persons in Nigeria. It posits that the introduction of neo-liberal economic policies created a vacuum in policy formulation and execution in which the older persons are not provided for within the social safety nets in the neo-liberal state. This exploratory, qualitative study is based on interviews and narratives of interviews with government officials. The findings of the study show that, in the face of rapid demographic change, one of the major challenges facing Nigeria is developing policies and appointing personnel capable of understanding and responding to the current social priorities and complex needs of an increasingly ageing population in the country. Based on the findings, the study provides recommendations that may assist the government to table policies that will promote the well-being of the elderly in Nigeria.