Migration and Care for the Aged in Rural Nigeria
Traditionally, ageing parents relied on adult children for care and support. However, this structure is gradually breaking down due to rural-urban migration of adult children. This paper examined the consequences of ruralurban migration of adult children on agedcare and support and coping mechanisms employed by the aged in rural Nigeria. The study adopted qualitative research methods namely In-depth Interviews (IDIs) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). In all, 30 IDIs and 12 FGDs were conducted on aged (60 years and older) with urban migrant children. Data were analyzed using ethnographic technique. The result showed that although some of the migrant children remit to their parents, this rarely improve their intrahousehold care. This finding was linked to absence of children to provide care for their aged parents. The aged adopted various coping strategies, which included reliance on aged spouses, social service providers, church members and friends.The paper concluded that rural-urban migration of offspring is gradually eroding the traditional social network in rural Nigeria. It suggested that the family, NGOs and the three tiers of governments should work together to address the problems emanating from migration as children seek greener pastures in urban centres.
Key Words: Migration, Care for the Aged, Rural, Nigeria