Being elderly is like death sentence in Nigeria – Don

Nigerian pensioners
Nigerian pensioners

Prof. Kanayo Ofodile, a clinical psychologist, says old age looks like a death sentence in Nigeria, as children abandon their aged parents without care and compassion.

Ofodile made the assertion on Saturday in Awka, at the inauguration of the First Best Domiciliary Home Care World, a non-governmental organisation which cares for aged persons.

He said: “I reside in civilized countries, U.S., to be precise, and we see and learn how they care so much about old people. The aged are vulnerable and cannot cater for themselves anymore.

“But it is a sad situation in our country. It looks like old age is a death sentence in our society. Children abandon their aged parents and relatives without care.

“Many aged persons are homeless, abandoned, lonely, unhealthy and unkempt, hence, the establishment of this organisation. There is the need to start prioritizing care for the elderly.

“We will be going round the state to pick up and cater for abandoned aged persons and our trained social officers will be going to give home care to those who crave for such services.

“We will be applying spirituality, clinical formulation and reasoning to improve the lives of the aged. Our society should not abandon the elderly, they are still very relevant.”

Ofodile called for a re-orientation of the younger generation on the need to see the care of the elderly as an obligation.

In his speech, Mr Ikemefuna Nwafor, Chairman of the event, said that the programme was aimed at setting a template on what should happen to the aged segment of the population.

“It is sad that the aged in civilised countries aged gracefully and successfully while their counterparts in Nigeria are aging in abandonment and frustration.

“Old age is a stage of life that we will all get to. It does not take a century to get there. It is just a matter of time. So, we need to plan and prepare to do better in taking care of the elderly in our society,” he said.

Mr Ekene Mbah, Director, Care Services Nigeria, said that over 80 per cent of the elderly in the society lacked good domestic care and spent their old age in pains due to negligence and lack of caregivers.

Mbah said that the organisation would be saddled with a new approach of taking care to the homes of the aged to cater for their needs and improve their lives.

He urged the state government and well-meaning individuals to support the organisation in its mission.

“Owing to the nature of this care-giving services, we appeal for support in the areas of ambulance for emergency and utility vehicles for movement of social officials across the state.

“We also need a mini bus for strolling with aged persons as part of their fun experiences and a piece of land to build a geriatric Home Centre for training of caregivers, for relaxation and home to homeless aged persons.

In his remarks, Igwe Emeka Ilouno of Ifitedunu, said that the elderly needed care and company as loneliness and depression killed them faster.

“This is a laudable project and we promise that our communities will work with you because we want our people to age gracefully, fulfilled and longer,” he said. (NAN)


The OPINION / COLUMN is authored by independent contributors to the National Accord Newspaper. While contributors adhere to our editorial guidelines, they are not employed by the National Accord Newspaper. The perspectives and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the National Accord Newspaper or its staff.

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