Professor Dako-Gyeke calls for support for the aged

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Professor Mavis Dako-Gyeke, Director, Centre for Ageing Studies, has called on Caregivers to help in supporting and taking care of the aged to enable them to live well and age gracefully.

She said there was the need to support these older people because they had once contributed immensely to developing society.

Prof Dako-Gyeke made the call at the end of a three-day training for formal and informal Caregivers of older persons in Accra.

The training organised by the Centre for Ageing Studies is to build the capacity of Caregivers and to improve on their knowledge in taking care of the older persons.

“…and we hope that other people will also come on board the next time to learn, so we can support all our older persons, ” she said.

Prof Dako-Gyeke said there was the need for stakeholders to understand issues surrounding older people, the way they behave, among others.

“We have to look at what they are going through socially, medically, emotionally, psychologically, and cognitively, because changes do occur in their body,” she said.

Prof Dako-Gyeke, therefore, called on Caregivers and other stakeholders, who take care of the older persons to endeavour to enroll in subsequent programmes to enable them acquire skills in taking care of them.

Professor Akye Essuman, Board Member of the Centre, said there was the need for more social workers to support the aged because of many social issues connected to ageing.

“Yes, a lot of the information that is around has to do with the abuse, neglect of these persons, because of the way they are being cared for in the community,” he added.

He called for more training to equip Caregivers in taking care of the older persons to enable these persons receive quality care and ensure that they live longer.

Prof Essuman said taking care of the caregivers was one major thing that needed to be looked at.

Dr Akosuah Agyemang, a Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Work at the Centre, said as individuals grow older, they were likely to suffer some chronic ailments such as diabetes, hypertension and more, and these diseases hinder their functional abilities, so there was always the need for the availability of formal and informal caregiving for these older persons.

“So apart from the health challenges, they are also likely to encounter poverty, abuse and social isolation, so we need to do something about it as social workers and caregivers,” she added.

Dr. Agyemang said there was the need to also recognise the developmental facts of the older adults, identify adjustments that could happen with ageing and then also discover some strategies that could be used to bring joy and happiness to these older persons.

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