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A non-governmental organisation (NGO), who’s name has been given as First Best Domiciliary Home Care World, has declared it would partner Anambra State Government to address inhuman treatment against aged persons, including witchcraft stigmatisation.
It said this in Awka at the inauguration of a programme designed to take care of the elderly in the state abandoned by their children.
A United States of America-based clinical psychologist, Prof Kanayo Ofodile, said it was regrettable that old age was treated as a death sentence in Nigeria.
He called for re-orientation of the younger generation on the need to see the care of the elderly as an obligation.
He said: ‘I reside in a civilised country, U.S to be precise, and we see and learn how they care so much for old people who are vulnerable and cannot cater for themselves.
“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, there is need to start prioritising care for the elderly.”
“We will be going round the state to pick up and cater to abandoned aged persons. Our trained social officers will be going round 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.’
Chairman of the event, Ikemefuna Nwafor, said the programme was targeted at setting a template on what should happen to the aged segment of the population.
He added: ‘It is sad that the elderly in civilised countries age gracefully and successfully, while their counterparts in Nigeria are ageing 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.’
The Director, Care Services Nigeria, Mr. Ekene Mbah, said over 80 per cent of the elderly in the society lacked good domestic care and spent their old age through pains due to negligence and lack of caregivers.