International Older Persons’ Day: Group advocates increased care for elderly

An Abuja-based non-governmental organisation, Save Our Heritage Initiative, has reiterated calls to channel more care to the elderly in Nigeria.

The Chief Executive Officer of the group, Ms. May Ikokwu, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.

Speaking during the commemoration of the 2023 International Older Persons Day with the theme, ‘Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons’, she said elderly persons deserve optimal care.

She advised Nigerians, especially youths, to always show love to the elderly, adding that they should be given equal attention like other persons in the society.

“This is the time the society should jettison the attitude of ageism that tends to discriminate against older persons. We should use this opportunity to review our perceptions about the elderly, by showing them love and care, we can do it many ways.”

Ikokwu decried the rampant dehumanisation of older persons and warned against the profiling of some elderly persons as witches and wizards.

She condemned what she described as a “barbaric and obnoxious culture that promotes deliberate harm of older persons” and sued for societal tolerance and love for older persons who display attitudes associated with ageing.

According to her, sometimes, the elderly may misbehave due to dementia and other health factors, but instead of profiling them, people should care for them.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ‘International Older Persons Day’ is an annual celebration held on October 1 to recognise the contributions of the elderly and to examine issues that affect their lives.


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