The aged population in the rural areas does face lots of challenges as most are hopelessly impoverished without much of economic activity to keep them going. There are no strong systems in place to take care of the old, aged and vulnerable groups in society, thus their challenges range from medical, nutritional, social-psychological and deplorable living standards.
Many elderly people in Africa are burdened with childcare because of the HIV/Aids related deaths of parents. More than 50 percent of orphans in Africa live with their grandparents, many on limited and uncertain incomes.
The healthcare problem is critical because of the long-term chronic conditions associated with growing old, such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory disorders and dementia.
While these are problems experienced by older population all over the world, the challenges are compounded in developing countries, where the system is less capable of dealing with them, than in the developed world.
Nor do many older Africans have even a small pension to rely on. Pension schemes cover very few people due to the informality of most livelihood activities and employment. Most societies are predominantly rural and much of the population operates outside the security of formal sector, wage-dependent markets.’