PROJECT TOPIC : COUNSELLING NEEDS OF OLD PEOPLE IN OSHIMILI SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE
CHAPTERS: Chapter 1 – 5
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Keywords: counselling needs of old people
Background to the Study
The globalization of ageing has ever been with us since creation. According to Rowntree Foundation (2009), Cattan and Gluntoli (2010) says that aging has three distinct processes, namely: the primary ageing, which refers to the normal disease-free movement towards adulthood with changes in the biological, social and psychological domains. The biological ageing has to do with the typical reduction or less in the capability of the vital organs in their coping mechanisms as age advances. Social ageing refers to some unwritten expectation of human’s behaviour at a particular chronological age, especially how they act, how they dressed, their languages and interpersonal lifestyles. Psychological ageing has to do with the difficulties that individuals have to cope with psychological defects like attention deficits, low performance, expectation and related performed anxiety, motivation difficulties and variety of fears associated with ageing.
Callaghan and Darton (2010) classify ageing chronologically as 65 years and above but Sanusi and Manthorpe (2009) use the age group 45-60 and 60 and above to represent ageing. The thought of getting old makes people have fear, yet they still desire to live long. Several changes that take place in the human body as it ages include: hearing and vision declines muscle strength lessens. Soft tissues such as skin and blood vessels becomes less flexible and there is an overall decline in body tone.
A pertinent question is how do our aged citizens view themselves on the society in Nigeria? In the traditional period before colonialism, old people were held in high esteem. It was the duty of the community to tend to their needs. They did not go hungry and wait endlessly to receive pension from government. They had suitable accommodation even if it was a mud house. They were physically strong as most of them still preferred to go to the farm, at least to help the younger ones. They were not lonely as people gathered round them in the evening to listen to stories. But things have changed and our elderly citizens are confronted with a lot of challenges and need. What are these needs and how do our old folks perceive them in terms of urgency in significance. This study therefore attempts to determine how old people in Oshimili South Local Government Area evaluate these needs and challenges listed bellows:
- Medical need
- Government support
- Financial need
- Social support
- Psychological need
As stated earlier, gerontological counselling is virtually not being practiced in Oshimili South Local Government Area as such, a study to assess the needs of old people for counselling has not been addressed. This study therefore attempts to address this dearth.
The elderly need to be medically and physically fit, so in this wise, they need to eat well, engage in periodic exercises such as working, swimming, cycling and taking part in less strenuous games. The need to take less sugar and avoid food in high sugar content such as frequent intake of Milo and soft drinks like Coca-Cola, etc.
They also need to take less salt, therefore, they should avoid food with high salt intake such as fast food, junk food, etc. also the need to take prevention medicine against malaria, typhoid etc.
They also need to avoid getting over-weight, as too much weight can lead to development of certain diseases such as hypertension, stroke, diabetes, they should not starve themselves in order to avoid ulcer. They should be moderate in whatever they are doing such as less taking of alcohol.
The elderly should also live in an healthy environment and those that are on drugs should always take their dugs as prescribes regularly.
Since the elderly have contributed a lot to national development in their youth or middle age, it is imperative that government should cater for then in their old age. So in this wise, a certain percentage of the national income, let say three percent (3%) or more should be set aside for the numerous need of the elders, especially the elderly ones who cannot afford to cater for themselves. Because they are:
- Very poor
- Not on pension
- Do not have wealthy relatives to take care of them
- “Orphan” that is elderly who do not have any living relative. In this case, like in the oversea, the government provide for the elderly ones, houses, hostel etc. for the elderly to live.
Care for the elderly is expensive because they visit the same places like the younger generations. Since the elderly are not working or employed, they experience financial difficulties. Their benefit, retirement or pension most times are not enough to take care of them. Financial needs such as paying rent (for those who do not have their personal houses), buying food stuff (for those who do not have relatives to take care of them), buying kerosene, fire wood, or gas (for those who stay alone). It is like a father that labour hard for the children, the children at this time, take care of their aged parent, government should at least put aside 3% of income for caring for the elderly. It is also link to governmental support to the elderly ones.
It is a therapy given to the old people. Old people should make friends, cultivate new friends, join club, take active part in church, engage in recreational activities, such as draft “Apele”, scrabble, “Ayo”, they can even enrol in university for courses mostly at the overseas, it is also known as social support network and show love to them. Loneliness kill the elderly easily, that is why the old person need to be care for and shown much love.
Old people need to take care of their emotions, they don’t not need to get angry easily because it is not good for their health. They need to be emotionally stable, control their anger, they need to package their selves well, meaning, they should always dress well and look well, as in, look good at all times, because if they don’t package themselves well, they will never get attracted to people around them and it might make them psychologically imbalance. They should always have a positive view of life so that they can look graceful in their old age and die gracefully in their old age. As possible as they can, they should always look cheerful, it is also a link to social support. The whole needs of the elderly are interwoven.
Scope of the Study
This study is meant to cover all the villages in Oshimili South Local Government of Delta State. However, because of time, resources and other associated problems, the study had been limited to some selected villages in Oshimili South Local Government Area.
The result of the study from the selected villages will be adequate, to be as a basis for generalization in the area for which the study is meant to serve.
Purpose of the Study
This study is designed generally to investigate the counselling needs of the ageing. Specifically, it is designed toward achieving the following:
- Analysing the differences in the medical needs of male and female ageing individuals.
- Identifying the physiological changes among male and female ageing individuals.
- Examining the financial needs of the retired aging individuals.
- Establishing the difference between government support to the retiree and financial need of the ageing individuals.
- Identifying the social support of the elderly.
- What are the medical needs of the elderly as perceived by them?
- What are the medical needs of the elderly as perceived by male and female elderly people?
- What are the financial needs of the elderly as perceived by them?
- What are the financial needs of the elderly as perceived by male and female elderly people?
- What are the social support of the elderly as perceive by them?
- What are the social support of the elderly people?
- What are the government support of the elderly as perceived by them?
- What are the government support of the elderly as perceive by male and female elderly people?
- What are the psychological needs of the elderly as perceived by them?
- What are the psychological needs of the elderly as perceived by male and female individuals?
Significance of the Study
This study is meant to help counsellors know the various features or characteristics of the ageing as well as helping these ones attain successful transition. It help the ageing to accept and handle the crisis inherited imaging period.
This study will also make the ageing to perceive old age positively and desirable, to know what can be done to increase the life span and live happily. This study will re-orientate our society concerning their aged and ageing.