Easing the lock but locking the vulnerable: a COVID-19 experience of the aged in Nigeria
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in a lockdown in Nigeria. When the lockdown eased, there were continued restrictions of the aged due to their vulnerability to the virus occasioned by underlying chronic illnesses that are associated with aging. This study examined the experiences of the aged in the on-going COVID-19 pandemic with a view to assessing its psychological and emotional impact on the aged and the aged expectations towards being integrated back into the society. The qualitative study was conducted in Ilorin in Kwara State North-central Nigeria while 20 participants aged 65 years and above were interviewed in the study. Fear, anxiety, unhappiness, isolation, alienation, loneliness, worry and frustration were the major psychological and emotional impact of the COVID- 19 lockdown on the participants. Integrating the aged back into the society would also require social support, spiritual support, strict compliance to government protocols and provision of drugs and herbs. The study strongly recommends social work intervention to assist the aged in coping with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.