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ISSN: 0331-4111  e-ISSN: 2736-075X
Volume 20, No. 1, June 2022
Pages 1-17

DOI: 10.36108/NJSA/2202.02.0110

Unmet Needs for Support: A Study of Older Persons with Disability in Enugu State, Nigeria

1Judith I. Ani and 2Uche C. Isiugo-Abanihe
1LAPO Institute for Microfinance and Management Studies, Benin, Edo State,
2University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria


Unmet needs for support relate to daily requirements for independent functioning among the elderly but which are unavailable, consequent upon declining informal support and challenges of accessing formal ones. This study explored unmet needs for support, including finance, assistive device, food and healthcare, among older persons with disability in Enugu State Nigeria. Using a multistage sampling and a triangulation of research methods, a total of 1030 older persons were selected for the study. Seven in every ten older persons in the sample (71.0%) had an unmet need. Of all the support received, financial support (79.8%) was the most inadequate. The predominant assistive device was the walking stick (84.9%). Only about four (38.0%) out of ten had three square meals with no recourse to a balanced diet. Of all the unmet felt needs, healthcare/medication (60.2%) was the most predominant followed by financial support. Their physical environment was neither disability-supportive nor ageing-friendly. We conclude that the high percentage of unmet needs among older persons in Enugu State Nigeria is consequent upon the absence of formal social welfare policies and programmes for the elderly. Unfortunately, the elderly would continue to have unmet needs given the declining safety nets traditionally provided by family members vis-à-vis the increasing economic hardship in the society. It is therefore recommended that governments at all levels should formulate and implement social welfare programmes to bridge the needs gap among senior citizens who had spent their vibrant years serving the government and society.

Keywords: Unmet needs, elderly with disability, care and support, Enugu State, Nigeria

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