Medical Expert Proffers Solution On Ageing, Advocates Subvention For Senior Citizens
Dr Uzoma Okereke of Geriatric Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra state, has proffered solutions to ageing challenges among the elderly.
Okereke said this at a lecture as part of activities marking this year’s “International Day of Elderly” by the Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation (ADF) in Amawbia, Anambra state on Thursday,
The lecture which had no fewer than 80 men and women participants had the theme “Digital Equity for All Ages”
Okeke who called on governments at all level to ensure adequate subvention for the elderly people also called on Nigerians to support the fight for old people’s rights.
“Nigerian pensioners going on the streets protesting over their rights is disgraceful, that is the country we have found ourselves,” he said.
Enumerating challenges facing the old people having dementia or Alzheimer disease, Okekere said that such illness is preventable with early cares.
“These diseases are not curable, but there is new research. There are clinical trials now to ensure our ageing people look healthy.
“No big or small person is free from dementia or Alzheimer’s, a serious disease of the mind caused by brain disease or injury or usually from 60 years above, but there are things we must do to prevent it.
“The good activities for them include reading books to make the brain active, having enough sleep from 7 pm, listening to soft music, and participating in gaming activities such as Chess, Monopoly and Scrabble. These games help the brain,” he said.
The Geriatric doctor said group discussion in a classroom helps the elderly to avoid dementia and Alzheimer’s because part of the cause is depression as depression comes from loneliness.
According to him, taking banana, cucumber, carrot and watermelon fruits regularly are good for the elderly.
“They help to calm the nerves down and you sleep like babies,” Okereke said.
He said that taking Ice Cream which contained a lot of sugar is “death” for the elderly or taking doughnuts and cakes, stressing that “there are some ingredients in it not good for the elderly”.
A former Minister of Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anenih, who is the founder of ADF has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Bill for an Agency for the elderly into law.
She said the National Senior Citizens Centre, an Agency had been set up with Dr Emem Omokaro as the Director General.
“This is a lucky year for the elderly in Nigeria, an Agency had been set up, the National Senior Citizens Centre, we also want it to be upgraded to a ministry soon. It shows the government is now interested to take care of the affairs of the elderly,” Anenih said.
She also commended various state governments which have initiated policies to take care of the elderly, particularly Edo state.
“We are encouraging policy makers to make more policies for the elderly, particularly the Coalition of Societies for Elderly Persons in Nigeria,” Anenih said.
She noted that the society was already giving respect to the elderly because when they get old, they too will enjoy it such too.
“The elderly are very much respected and celebrated in our society today. They are seen as the repository of knowledge, culture, tradition and norms of every community.
According to her, modernity is however changing things on the role of elderly in the society and their roles diminishing.
“Children are also not helping matters, most of them prefer to live in the cities or in Diaspora while leaving their parents to suffer loneliness, depression, neglect at home, and a lot of negative feelings coming to play,” Anenih added.
She said that ADF was helping to make the elderly live happily and that the centre is open to all to come and socialise daily