Through the eyes of theory: The need for a comprehensive eldercare policy for Nigeria

Author: Ohiro Oni-Eseleh

Adelphi University School of Social Work, New York. USA


Many prior ways of explaining human conditions no longer hold relevance across the world because, thanks to myriad innovations, the human experience has evolved in ways that had previously been unimaginable. With that has come significant progress for people and nations on one hand and significant suffering for even a greater number of people on the other. In Nigeria, the latter group is awash with older persons. Without a comprehensive policy that specifically focuses on the needs of older people in the country, Nigeria’s older citizens experience significant distress. Considering that modernization, disengagement and social exchange theories have been some of the important theories that continue to advance knowledge in the field of aging, this article explores Nigerian society and the status of older persons in the society within the context of these theories. This article also recommends institutional theory as the approach for developing a comprehensive eldercare policy for the country.