INFORMATION NEEDS AND PROVISION TO THE ELDERLY PEOPLE
1.1 Background of the study
A common focus of the information behaviour literature is on how the target populations seek and use information to meet their need. Information seeking behaviour deals with the psychological behaviour of the seeker, which involves the searching, locating, retrieving and using of information (Karunarathna, 2008).
Everyone needs information to survive and strive in this 21st century, just as doctors need information to treat patients, lawyers to handle cases, teachers need information to prepare lesson notes, teach their students and prepare them for a career ahead of them, the elderly also requires much information to stay healthy, make informed choices and to remain current with news and happenings around them. The information needs of the elderly population, particularly in rural areas, have scarcely been investigated by researchers and are very poorly covered in the literatures of information science (Zou & Zhou, 2014).
According to WHO (2015) most developed countries of the world have accepted the chronological age of 65 years as a definition of elderly or older person. It is well known that the world’s population is ageing, with more developed regions leading this trend. This is due to increasing survival to older ages as well as smaller numbers of birth (United Nations Population Division, 1998). In some parts of Nigeria, most frail elderly people lived in the community supported by family and friends. In the United States for example, the older population--persons 65 years or older--numbered 39.6 million .They represented 12.9% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. (U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2012).
1.2 Statement of the problem
There may have been previous researches in this subject. This work gives further explanations and analysis in information needs and provision to the elderly people. The elderly are usually inquisitive and this prompts their search for information. They want to know more about their health condition, current happenings around them, technologies that could assist them etc. Bruce (2005) states that, "information plays a significant role in our daily professional and personal lives and we are constantly challenged to take charge of the information that we need for work, fun and everyday decisions and tasks”. The elderly like their younger counterparts requires information to meet their day-to-day needs. This study is therefore aimed at determining the information seeking behaviour of the elderly with a view to improving their searching skills, identify the challenges they face while searching for information and proffer possible solutions to them.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study sought to establish ways of enhancing the information- seeking behaviour of the elderly. To attain this goal, the study stipulated the following objectives:
• To find out the sources of information the elderly are familiar with.
• To identify their information needs.
• To know the use they put the information obtained.
• To establish the problems that the elderly encounter in information seeking.
1.4 Research Questions
For the purpose of this research, the following questions have been formulated:
• What are the sources of information the elderly are familiar with?
• What are the information needs of the elderly?
• To what use the elderly put the information they obtained.
• What are the factors militating against the available and accessibility of information by the elderly?
1.5 Research hypothesis
H0: There is no relationship between information needs provision and psychosocial development and stability of elderly persons.
H1: There is a relationship between information needs provision and psychosocial development and stability of elderly persons.
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