The Igbo care for the elderly in contemporary times: an old testament evaluation
Indications of aging challenges in most world societies are evidenced from the statistical records and projections of the World Health Organization and United Nations. The challenges of aging and how to cope with caring for the elderly are therefore not peculiar to Igbo society. This study examined the traditional Igbo philosophy about the aged and the problems encountered by care-givers in contemporary times. The task which this research undertook was to explore a possible means of alleviating the plight of the elderly by pragmatically applying the Old Testament (Israeli) strategies, family involvement and government assistance. The paper argued strongly that to properly address the challenges of the elderly, there is need for consistent and intense enlightenment and adjustment on the part of the aged. The Old Testament was used as a parameter to evaluate the Igbo care of the elderly in recent times. Data for the study were gathered from over fifteen years of participatory research, oral interviews and library research. Historical method of data analysis was adopted in the study. Findings show that there is a paradigm shift in caring methods between the traditional and contemporary Igbo societies. The study recommended that the old people be sensitized about the changing times that necessitate change of strategies in providing care to them. The family and the Igbo people should borrow a leaf from the Israel‘s strategies.
Keywords: Elderly, Aged, Seniors, Senior citizens,Gerontology, Contemporary societies