A non-governmental organisation, First Best Domiciliary Home Care World has sought partnership with the Anambra State Government to eliminate witchcraft stigmatisation and other form of inhuman treatment against aged persons in the State.
The Caregivers group made the demand during the official launching/Inauguration of the programme in Awka.
The programme is designed to take care of the aged people in the state, who are abandoned by their children, (particularly, their spiritual life).
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Host and a United States of America-based clinical psychologist, Prof Kanayo Ofodile described old age as a death sentence in Nigeria.
Prof. Ofodile asserted that many children had abandoned their aged parents without care and compassion in the country.
According to him, “I reside in a civilized country, the U.S. to be precise, and we see and learn how they care so much about old people. People who are vulnerable and cannot cater for themselves anymore.
“But it is a sad situation in our country, Nigeria. It looks like old age is a death sentence in our society.
“Children abandon their aged parents and relatives without care to the extent of tagging them a witch at any given misunderstanding.
“Many aged persons are homeless, abandoned, lonely, unhealthy and unkempt, hence, the establishment of this organisation. There is a need to start prioritizing care for the elderly.
“We will be going around the 179 communities in the State to pick up and cater to abandoned aged persons and our trained social officers will be going to give home care to those who crave 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, Arch. Mike Ikemefuna Nwafor, Chairman of the occasion, said that the programme was aimed at setting a template for 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 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,”
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