The theme for this year’s International Day for Older Persons (IDOP) focuses on age and ageing in the face of pandemics.
“Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?”
As the world contends with the current pandemic, the adverse effects are seen in the increasingly harsh conditions older persons have to grapple with. This ranges from challenges in coping with functional, physical and psychosocial health status of the aging process, changes in family dynamics, increased medical needs, increased economic hardship, decreased functional independence, and more startling the fact that older people are classified as “vulnerable” with respect to COVID19 and face high risk of dying from it, due to physiological changes that come with ageing and potential underlying health conditions.
With the foregoing, the answer this year’s theme seeks to address is NO, Pandemics do not change how we address age or ageing. Rather it should increase our individual and collective effort towards the care and concern of older persons
It is a call to question what our values are and how important it is in the care of older persons. DAGOMO recommends its first two core values of Love and Service to humanity as prescriptions to address the IDOP theme 2020.
Interestingly Nigeria our dear nation turns 60 today, the age largely accepted as the age of the older person.
There is no better time than now for our nation to take deliberate steps towards caring for her older citizens by ensuring elder care policies and legislation are enacted that holistically address the aged and the ageing populace. However, beyond policies and legislation, the people who drive and implement policies must do so from a value driven point of view. Policies do not drive themselves, people do, and people driven by the right values will implement policies rightly. Everyone must adopt the right value of love and service to humanity that way whether pandemics or not, it will not change how we address age or ageing.
Values determine our attitude, and our attitude determines our actions.
While we at DAGOMO continue to act as a catalyst for positive change by being the bridge that links the elderly with opportunities for a better life, we encourage everyone to join this movement for the elderly and nation building.
Happy 60th Independence Day to Nigeria! Happy International Day of Older Persons!!
“We must make haste then, not only because we are daily nearer death, but also because the conception of things and the understanding of them cease first.” Marcus Aurelius
Taiwo just like anybody else felt right to throw the old lady to the dogs, an expression meaning that she let the situation with her grandmother be judged by the common people, whom she felt understood her plight better. It all began some months back, Iya Adeola exhibited some suspicious behaviours. Iya would go to the bathroom and forget to turn off the faucet, thus, wasting the water in the tank; other times, she would lit the gas cooker in an attempt to prepare a meal and twice almost burnt down the house, which prompted Daddy Taiwo to install a fire alarm system. Occasionally, she would forget the names of anyone, often times accusing her family of attempting to kill her. These and many other incidents made Taiwo to conclude that her grandmother was a witch out to wreck them all.
This story is similar to the situation many people experience in living with aged parents or relatives. The sad thing is that these older persons are not intentionally causing havoc as they also require help for themselves.
Dementia is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities. Although dementia commly affects older persons, it is not a normal process of ageing.
Dementia results from a variety of diseases and injuries that primarily or secondarily affect the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke.
Dementia may have old age as its most common risk factor, but it is not an inevitable consequence of ageing. People below age 60 years experience dementia and this accounts for 9% of eventuality.
Studies show that people can reduce their risk of dementia by getting regular exercise, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, controlling their weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, Additional risk factors include depression, low educational attainment, social isolation, and cognitive inactivity.
The impact of dementia can be overwhelming for the families of affected people and for their carers. Physical, emotional and financial pressures can cause great stress to families and carers, and support is required from the health, social, financial and legal systems.
Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui Okauru(MFR) – is the former Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Executive Director of DAGOMO Foundation, and a Strategy/Change Management Consultant.
She is also a member of several boards including Central Securities Clearing System PLC (independent director); Diamond Bank PLC (independent director); Seplat Petroleum Development Company PLC (independent director) and Nigerian Breweries PLC (non-executive director).
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Dr Alero Roberts is a senior lecturer in the College of Medicine University of Lagos and an Honorary Consultant to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. She has become a thought leader on the Covid 19 impact in Nigeria, and the Lagos State response.
She has a special interest in public health research that focuses on access to healthcare, quality of service delivery, maternal and child health.
She is the Vice President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, the 2nd Vice Chairman of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (Lagos State Chapter), and the mother of Nigeria’s only 5-time gold medalist in Special Olympics swimming – Damola Roberts born with Downs Syndrome. She is a sought-after Christian counselor to families of children with intellectual disabilities
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Mrs Iyom Josephine Anenih (Esq, mni, FNIM) is a one time Minister of Women Affairs and a leading voice for women’s right in Nigeria. She is also an international advocate for the rights of older persons particularly those suffering from dementia and the founder of Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation (ADF).
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Its World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Join DAGOMO Foundation in taking a stand against elder abuse.
Join us on for this webinar on Saturday June 20.
Don’t miss it. Save the Date…..