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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 280-285

Improving attitude towards elderly people: Evaluation of an intervention programme for caregivers

Department of Epidemiology & Community Health, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital,Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
I S Abdulraheem
Department of Epidemiology & Community Health, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital,Ilorin, Kwara State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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There is yet no specific Government policy on care of the elderly in Nigeria despite increase in its awareness as well as the number of people reaching old age. This study was carried out to assess the attitude of caregivers in seven out of the eleven wards in Ilorin metropolis. The caregivers consisted of daughters (44.4%), sons (18.3%), family-relation (24.6%), employees (1.4%), neighbors (4.5%) and community members (6.8%). The data collection toll was a structured questionnaire consisting of three parts designed to determine the socio-demographic characteristics, general and specific attitude to the care of the elderly. Effect of Health Education on attitude of caregivers concerning the care of the elderly was also evaluated. Based on the scoring system, the attitude of the caregivers was found to be fairly positive and after the Health Education intervention, a significant improvement in the attitude of caregivers was recorded. The Mean (SD) score increased significantly from 78.4 +/- (14.6) pre-intervention to 96.8 +/-(15.2), post-intervention, p-value < 0.05. Religious teaching (35.9%), traditional/customary obligation (28.7%) and personal feeling (21.1%) were the most influencing factors of attitude of caregivers towards the care of the elderly. The influence of educational status of caregivers on where the elderly should be taken care of was found to be non statistically significant (p > 0.05). Gender had overall positive effect on attitudinal measurement. The deduction from this study is that care of the elderly is still being valued despite lack of specific government policy and support. The negative attitude of caregivers to institutional care may be difficult to change through health education intervention because care of the elderly at home is still being greatly valued in this country as it is seen as a responsibility of children and other family members. Institutional care is also considered as an abomination and irresponsibility by some caregivers

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