Abuse of the Aged in Nigeria: Elders Also Cry
Patience Edirin Ukiri Mudiare

Elderly people are abused and neglected both physically and psychologically by family members and other care givers. Some of them have challenges of poverty and diseases of old age such as stroke, depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Because of their frailty, they depend on their families and other caregivers for care and in the process are abused. Also in the absence of institutional care, adult children who are too busy to take care of their parents hire caregivers who also maltreat them. Unfortunately, the elderly are unable to challenge their abusers and have no way of reporting their abuse and so many suffer in silence. Nigeria has the largest number of elderly people over 60years of age, South of the Sahara, yet there is very little put in place by the government by way of institutional policies and legislation or even implementation of the Madrid Plan of Action on Aging, to which it is a signatory. For now, families continue to bear the burden of caring for their elderly members but this is increasingly difficult for them. Some elderly members live in destitution and are left at the mercy of the public or good Samaritans. The literature review indicates there is a high prevalence of elder abuse in Nigeria in spite of the respect that the aged command. The paper highlights the difficulties elderly people face in Nigeria.

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