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Would You... ?

Hey guys, I'm doing a bit of research with a few associates of mine and I thought I should ask you guys for feedback. So basically we're trying to decide how viable an assisted living home for the elderly would be as a business in Nigeria. 

So yes, there are the aged among us, in our homes and families and sometimes with everyone else chasing after stuff in their own lives, taking care of our elderly parents or grandparents, especially those who have become incapacitated or dependent can be really burdensome. 

So having a nice home with good electricity, in-house medical care, games like ludo, ayo, monopoly and game time, TV, a swimming pool maybe, good food, medical treatments for those with health challenges and the company of other housemates, sounds like a really good idea. But as Nigerians you know how it is, we are sentimental and family oriented and this might be seen as abandonment, no matter how nice and comfortable the facility is. 

I'd like you know about you though,when/if your parents/relatives are elderly and can no longer live on their own, if you can afford to, would you put them in a very comfortable assisted living home where they're cared for by professionals, are in the company of their peers and engage to daily activities which they otherwise wouldn't have access to, or would you rather keep at home, either yours or theirs?

Please tell me, and I'd like to know your reasons too. Thanks. 


  1. I had this idea once and was discouraged based on sentiment. .but I believe it will work...I as a person will register any aged in my could have their children come over to visit and take them on tour in group..They get to make friends with people of their age nd just enjoy till their time is up

    1. Exactly what I'd do too. They wouldn't be lonely and they'll make new friends/interact more.

  2. Personally if I lived far from my folks and they have no other support system, i May.

    It would take alot of certainty on my part to be sure there are no mean people/ workers there.

    However, if I am around, my folks wont go no where. I will take care of them .

    As a business, the chances of its survival is 50/50.

    One nerds a good strategy

  3. It's an uncomfortable topic/concept, which Nigerians might struggle to come to terms with. But the truth is the traditional structure of community and society has broken down from what it used to be, so one may not be as successful applying the same values that worked in 1917 to 2017. Many aged people end up not living in the lands they were born due to migration, illness, displacement and a host of other reasons. And there are a lot of challenges that come with these changes both to the aged parent and to the child.
    What I am saying is that in practical terms, a well-thought-out facility would be a viable option for some people to have at their disposal. But two things to take into consideration are:
    1) Give the occupants autonomy. Let them be free to move around as they please (maybe provide chauffeurs?), and also give them options so they can stay maybe weekdays in the facility and go home to their kids on weekends and special occasions, and just whenever they feel like it, really
    2) Anyone starting this business in Nigeria should hope for the best, but be well prepared for the risk. Something like this is not likely to yield immediate returns, as it would take the general public a while to warm up to the idea, and to build trust in the system.
    All the best!!

    1. Brilliant comment!

      Though I'm in slight disagreement with your perspective on the broken traditional structure of community. Nonetheless, brilliant! Chrisyinks

    2. Thanks Chrisyinks. What I meant by a broken traditional structure relates to how in the past, parents knew that their kids are always going to be around them. The first son's hut is a stone's throw from the father's hut, the second son's own hut is to the right, the third son's hut is right behind, etc. so parents are surrounded with their kids. This was coupled with the fact that each son could have 3 wives, hence up to 20 children, so the entire atmosphere is bristling with people to care for and stay with the aged. That's kind of where I was coming from when I said the traditional system doesn't exist anymore

    3. @ Ada_ugo

      You welcome. Yeah I got your point. I just believe that the fundamentals of that communal/traditional structure is still present today. While it isn't as close/strong as years back, you can still see such when grandmothers go over to their daughters/daughers-in-law's house to nurture their grandkids and in return the grandmothers' health needs are better attended to.....etc. It's very much less interpersonal in the western world, as it always has been. I definitely agree that changes in lifestyle over the years has hewed on what we have previously known as an extended family. Chrisyinks

  4. "But as Nigerians..." Personally, i would rather use that money and "hire" someone to look after them in my own house. It will break my heart to have them away, no matter the comfort.

    1. This seems to be the status quo for many and a more feasible approach giving the Nigerian landscape and culture. If you decide to move forward with the business concept, I reckon mixing your proposed strategy with this would make for a more profitable model. Chrisyinks

  5. I would. If I had enough money tho I'll rather leave them in a house with their own personal nurse.

  6. I'd rather keep them home with me or at theirs, depending on their preference. I think for most people, the older they get, the stronger their appreciation and emotional attachment to that place and people they call home. I'd never want any of mine to feel that sense of loss and listlessness that sometimes comes from being uprooted from an established routine/comfort zone. There's also my own selfish emotional need to keep what is mine as close to me and as familiar as I've always known it, as possible.

    Either way, I consider employing a personal professional care giver who will take care of them at their own homes, a win win situation for all stake holders.

  7. The place needs to be monitored well! Living in the Uk I hear horror stories about wicked carers who steal from the aged or just molest them.
    I think it could work nonetheless but you’ll need to be EXCEPTIONAL... plus labour in Nigeria is relatively cheap. I personally would have an aged relative stay with me with a 24/7 carer too but that’s because I can monitor for Africa! All the best!

  8. I would not check in my parents into a living home for the elderly. No matter how unavailable I am. I would pay for a care giver to live with them, in their own homes instead and register them for recreational activities, food supply, physiotherapy,hospital checks/care etc. 
    Reason, since they have given so much, energy; time; sleep; emotion; money and maybe ambition, to raise me as a child, I will do my best to be personal about caring for them in old age. 

    Maybe I could check in someone else, not my parents nor in-laws, into an elderly home, it's less personal and I think easier .‎

  9. If I can afford to pay for that facility, then I can afford to pay someone to look after them in their home or mine. But I may be 5 out of 10 or 7 out of 10. If you have that facility the remaining 5 and 3 out of 10 respectively will put their aged parents there. At the end of the day you probably need 1 out of 10 considering we don't have homes for the aged here in Naija.

    This may sound mean, but there are people out there that don't want to take care of aged parents for various reasons. Targeting this group of people alone is enough. Because this business is somewhat novel, it will be sucessful. J

  10. If I can afford to pay for that facility, then I can afford to pay someone to look after them in their home or mine. But I may be 5 out of 10 or 7 out of 10. If you have that facility the remaining 5 and 3 out of 10 respectively will put their aged parents there. At the end of the day you probably need 1 out of 10 considering we don't have homes for the aged here in Naija.

    This may sound mean, but there are people out there that don't want to take care of aged parents for various reasons. Targeting this group of people alone is enough. Because this business is somewhat novel, it will be sucessful. J

  11. For me, i think its a really good idea and i won't mind putting my parents there. The reason is this, when I had my baby, my mum came for omugwo, she stayed for 2months and in that time, my dad fell ill and almost died because my mum who takes care of him was away. My dad is diabetic and also has hbp. My mum is old 69... but she's still very agile and does every thing for him (dad is rather spoilt by mum). You see, if he was in a nice cozy home, he wouldn't have gotten that bad making us all frantic. Tho there's a young man living with them, but there's only so much a clueless boy can do. So yeah, such a place is a great idea, at least It gives us the children peace of mind that they are being well taken care of and they also have company and are engaged in a good way that would help prolong their lives.

  12. Its a wonderful idea and long overdue.
    My father in law has dementia and given everyone's busy schedule, it's tough getting a companion for him.

  13. Because of sentiment, I don't think it will work here.

  14. This I something I would consider as long it is affordable I am sure people would be open to it. I would have peace of mind knowing my aged family members are well taken care of.

  15. Good day Ms. thelma,

    I for one don't think I will gladly keep my elderly one in a home for the following reasons.

    I am very sentimental about family, so I feel this is like it is abandonment. It almost feels like betrayal, like failing to repay their sacrifices. Although in real sense since payment for comfortable living is been made, I will still be be paying my dues.

    Also, I will be taking folks who have been independent for a long time and putting them under a very structured setting where they might not be able to exert their independency, they might just end up feeling restless but change is part of life though.

    Lastly, I feel the elderly prefer the company of younger people to their mates. Staying in a place packed with their mates might affect their morale, although this also swings both ways.

    I have given reasons why I likely wont keep them in a home, yet I have also countered the reasons so my reasons may not be very valid. It all boils down to sentiment over logic.

    P.S: There is an elderly home close to where I live in Ikorodu here, so I think the idea is very viable.

    Have you read Leota's garden by Francine rivers.

    1. Since I saw this post last week, all that's been on my mind is that book. I was going to recommend it to Thelma.

      On the one hand, it seems like a very good plan but those places can get very impersonal and you can't really vouch for the kindness of the caregivers.

      That said, its a very good idea but it has to standout and beat the norm here and abroad. What I mean is, its not enough to build the home and staff it, whoever is going to manage it has to be a very compassionate and hands on person, he/she must be capable of empathy and know the intricacies of adult caring cos caring for the aged can weary the soul and after a while, you just begin to go through the motions and eventually, so many deaths will make one hardened to the loss and that's not good for senior citizens care home.

  16. There is a thriving health care system in the states for the aged and one of the reason why this system has continued to strive is the presence of good health Insurance system which we really do not have. As a business person I think there will be market for this in Nigeria because times are changing. The question is if the payments will be made for this services as I have been to the Old peoples home in Yaba for example and seen how people abandon their parents for the govt not paying for the services. If this issue can be mitigated and the staff infrastructure can be put in place. I believe this business should thrive.

  17. wow. Can't imagine my aged parent outside their hut in my hometown. The thought of them being around at home makes me think home/village most times. The thought of them being in the village makes me think of investing more in the village to make them more comfortable. Statistics from my village show that most aged parents who leave my home-town to their children residence in the city or abroad end up dying within few years of leaving. The fear of loosing them earlier than necessary will not allow me take them to aged homes. Remember the older they get, the more the like nature and their immediate environment.

    What happens to the issue of culture and language. Maybe the homes will be situated in each local government to give those aged people a sense of belonging.


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