The aged in our contemporary society have been left to fend for themselves due to weak family systems, Dr Edward Danso, the Chief Executive Officer of COMi Relief Foundation, a faith-based non-profit organisation, has said.
He said old age was the time love and care were the most needed, hence the public must renew that responsibility towards providing care for the aged to ensure they lived happy and peaceful lives.
Dr Danso made the call at a fun game competition organised by the Foundation and its Respite Facility to draw attention to the healthcare needs of old people and to strengthen commitments towards providing same.
This forms part of activities to celebrate the Foundation’s Nineth Anniversary and the International Day of the Aged, a global annual celebration for senior citizens.
It was on the theme: “Improving Conditions of the Aged in Ghana.’’
Dr Danso said most of the senior citizens were lonely and vulnerable emotionally, financially, mentally, and physically, with a higher risk of severe illnesses, therefore society was obligated to support them to improve their wellbeing.
He noted that the family system was broken, thus, members did not care for each other as was done previously, leaving the aged to fend for themselves.
“The aged are the sources of wisdom who influence the talents and aspirations of the younger generations and so must be protected,” he said.
He recommended lifestyle choices for active ageing, which include participating in family and community life, eating balanced diet, maintaining adequate physical activity, avoiding emotional stresses, and willingness to forgive.
“It has been documented that Africa had more than 17,000 people above 60 years, who lost their lives to COVID-19, and this accounts for over 50 percent of the COVID-19 deaths in Africa,” Dr Danso said.
He encouraged old people to start having innovative ageing activities such as fun games that were engaging, stress releasing and served as therapeutic cognitive exercises.
‘‘Playing games is not just for children or for fun, it is engaging and a stress relieving activity that should be practiced by all, even in old age.”
Dr Danso said to champion the cause of shielding the aged, the Foundation established the Respite Facility, an aged day care centre and clinic, where they were provided assistance with daily living activities and personal care, as well as rehabilitation to improve physical and emotional status to prevent deterioration.
He called on policy makers, civil society, individuals, families, and caregivers among others to collaborate with the Foundation to exchange knowledge on ageing-related issues.