The Centre for Rural Development and Community Transformation (CERUDECT) has advised the Federal Government to formulate a national policy on the care and welfare of older people in the country.
The project director of the centre, Mr Olusesan Olukoya, gave the advice at a programme organised to marked the 2020 International Day of Older Persons held in Ikorodu-West LCDA.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for the 2020 International Day of Older Persons celebrated every Oct. 1 is: ” Pandemic: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing.”
Olukoya said that such a policy would go a long way to address some of the challenges that come with ageing.
“The breakdown of family structure and the absence of a social security system results in unique challenges to the elderly in this country.
“With their natural infirmities and little or no help from handicapped family, the elderly are the ones bearing the brunt of the current situation in the country.
“Having a national policy in Nigeria for the aged in line with what is applicable in some developed countries will help in addressing some of these issues,” he said.
He also advised relatives of the elderly to be proactive in their approaches to care and support rendered, noting that such would be of paramount importance to the well being of their elderly.
The guest speaker, Rev. Sam Bambose, described ageing as the progressive decline in the function and performance which accompany being advanced in years.
According to him, the status of aged persons in contemporary times has changed perceptively due to industrialisation and urbanisation.
“There are biomedical and physiological views about ageing and they have also been viewed differently by different people.
“We can see that the most vulnerable group of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are mostly the elderly.
“More care and attention should be given to this group of people who falls into the category of the elderly in this country,” he said.
Also, Chief Joseph Ajayi, another speaker, said that more should be done to reduce health disparity between older people in developing and developed countries.
Ajayi said that: bad leadership, corruption, lack of inadequate planning, poor attitude and lack of attention to health were some of the factors responsible for the disparity.
“A lot should be done to improve the quality of leadership we have at all levels; once this is done, every other thing will fall into places.
“Therefore, the government at all levels must be involved in efforts that will reduce this disparity drastically for the wellbeing of the aged in our society.
The Chairman of Ikorodu-West LCDA, Hon. Olajumoke Jimbo-Ademehin, commended the body for organising the programme.
She said that the council would continue to support programmes that would better the welfare of the elderly in the vicinity.
NAN reports that over 100 elderly persons who participated in the programme received various items as palliatives from the centre.