Saturday, June 12, 2010

Plight of our elderly especially the females

As nature dictates, the elderly persons in our today's society at a certain stage in their lives, were heroes and heroines, who were once strong active and independent but with time to live on earth, they become frail and weak and in many case need support especially during the last days of lives.
Going by it, the young ones have to built concerted efforts in helping the elderly in their daily lives as they were the previous generations of people, they has worked extremely hard to get us the today generations where we are now. So it is indeed for us to pay due respect to them. When we talk about the elderly, they have always been in their days narrating stories to us how they had struggled to bring food to the family, pay for education, built the homes and ensure that our security is to the maximum.

With all this, some of them are very old more especially the women as young ones, we need to be sending cards to our loves ones (elderly), visiting them at homes, giving them support of all kind, but this seems to be lacking in our today's society. In fact some of them are in their dark rooms with all their windows open with little help from family members. In many parts of Africa, it is often believed that traditions of respect mean that the elderly are adequately supported by the family but this seems not to be the case nowadays.
Nowadays there are even instances when older people are abused socially, physically, economically and psychologically, their basic human rights such as the right to life, liberty, food, health, freedom from discrimination are all violated in their daily lives. Let the young ones remember that these old people, are one time as diverse as farmers, teachers, fishermen/women, religions leaders, politicians, drivers, tailors, health workers, carpenters, cleaners, dock workers and security officers serving their nation with pride. But today most
of the old have worked under hard, difficult and in some cases dangerous conditions “to give us their best” , it is high time that we pay tribute to their efforts and sacrifices. Because of their tideless efforts most of the younger generation are living in good conditions,
we need to continue giving them back what they has cultivated for us to reap the fruits.
Majority of older people in Africa work in the informal sector and despite advancing age, they continue to work to support their families until they find it physically impossible to do so. In addition, older people supports their families by caring for children at homes, managing the home and taking part in agricultural work. They also make valuable contributions to society as guardians of traditions and cultural values passed from generation to generation.
The elderly people should be guaranteed better living conditions for meaningful transition to old age to achive this, all hands must be put on desk, it should be our collective responsibility to ensure that they have good health and proper living conditions whilst encouraging
their participation active in leisure, sporting and cultural programmes. One can define an elderly person as someone who has attained the age of sixty (60) years and above. This age limit can be found and is in consistent with the United Nations definition of an elderly person. Although, the family remains the most important source of support for older people in Africa and in many parts of Africa, family structures are changing and traditional patterns of care are no longer guaranteed for many elders.
Giving examples, urbanization is resulting in many older people now living alone in rural areas as many of the young folk is making ends meet in the urban centre, in which most of the elderly are receiving support from them while they were taking care by the old in days passes. Another point, is economic pressures and changing social values makes which makes many families to either unable or unwilling to care for older relatives. We are also witnessing a gradual disintegration of the extended family system thus rendering it ineffective in its role as a social security institution.
Going by the content of the story, we need organisations that's objectives will be to improve access to basic health care services for disadvantaged elderly people, improve the re-integration of the elderly in African social life, and promote inter-generation dialogue and to advocate for the rights of the elderly in countries they operates.Revival of positive traditional roles of the elderly in African social life such as story telling, riddles and knitting, with
modern communication technologies, can also be another method.

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