The West African Postgraduate College of Nurses and Midwives (WAPCNM), has called for implementation of the National Policy on Aging in Nigeria to address various challenges facing older people.
Dr Khadijat Musah, the Chairman, Oyo-Osun branch, while making the call, also said that WAPCNM would collaborate with the Geriatic Centre, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan to improve care of the elderly.
Musah made the call on Friday at a news conference to mark the 2022 International Day of Older Persons in Ibadan, with the theme: “The Resilience and Contribution of Older Women.”
“Already, there is a policy and we are happy about the document. I think we should begin to implement those strategies that were documented.
“One thing that the government should look out for is to prevent abuse of the elders. Also, they should reinforce and encourage those who are interested in training home carers,” she said.
Musah noted that having qualified carers for elderly people would reduce most of the challenges inhibiting their wellbeing and promote longevity.
She stressed the need to harness the experience and potential of older women, saying that they should not be abandoned because they have retired.
Earlier, the association paid a courtesy call on Dr Femi Olowookere, the Director, Geriatic Centre, UCH, Ibadan.
Olowookere, however, appreciated the association and expressed optimism at the prospect of collaboration to improve research and innovation in the care of the elderly in the country.
Also, Revd. Funmi Osobu-Popoola, the National Chairman, Nigeria Chapter of WAPCNM, said that parents should set the right examples for younger generations.
According to her, this can be done by giving due respect to the elderly and various institutions should put their welfare first.
“The older people shouldn’t be on the queue whether in banks or elsewhere.
“Older people should be respected and accepted. Members of the public must know the importance of respecting the older generation,” Osobu-Popoola said.
In an interview, Dr Patricia Oniawa, the Director of Nursing Services, UCH, said the theme for the 2022 International Day of Older Persons was apt at a time when the population of older persons was increasing daily.
“We are happy to celebrate them and it is an opportunity to recognise their contributions as older women in the society, because they are actually a repository of our societal history, experience and story-telling.
“We appreciate their mentorship and guidance over the years continuously in whatever we do,” Oniawa said.
Commenting, Mrs Evelyn Afun, the South-West Zonal Chairman of WAPCNM, said that celebrating the elderly and acknowledging their importance in the society should not be limited to a day, but should become part of the society.
“We need to celebrate our elderly who have contributed a lot to the development of the nation and not neglect them because they are old,” Afun said.
Mr Francis Popoola, the South-West Zonal Secretary and Guest Speaker for the celebration to mark the day, spoke on the topic: “Healthy Living while Aging.”
Popoola said that government should look into the issue of older persons in Nigeria and seek to take care of the issues affecting them.
“Some of those issues include: loneliness, illness such as hypertension, kidney disease, diabetes and falling.
“The healthcare workers also should always bring out health promotion policies that will engender healthy living for older persons,” he said.
The association donated medical consumables to the Geriatic Centre UCH, Ibadan.