The Neglect of the Aged and its Repercussions
The Mellinials (also known as Generation Y are the demographic cohort following Generation X and preceding Generation Z. Researchers and popular media houses use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years with 1981 to 1996).
The Millennials have virtually neglected the needs and welfare of the old and underprivileged in the society amidst the current economic turn down and insecurity. Forgetting the old and weak in the society has its own immediate and and long term repercussions for a country.
The youth has underestimated the need of the aged in the society. The aged in the society need to be taken properly care off and there must be well structured measures and laws enacted to provide safety and security for them.
One walking on the streets of Accra comes across a lot of older people living in a deplorable state either sick, disorganized or mentally derailed.
We have most older people on the streets begging and chasing people for money in order to eat or survive despite the harsh weather conditions.
Unfortunately the older people who have enough to feed on the streets find it difficult to move around to get things done for themselves.Can it be that the youthful generation of this country are so much preoccupied with their work and other moments that we care less about the welfare of the aged in the society.
Out of every ten people begging on the streets,two or three are made up of the elderly. The Holy Book entreats children to be submissive and take care of their aged parents, uncles, grandparents and other people’s parents as well. The aged becomes our responsibility and we are supposed to take care of them until their demise. We are their parents during these stages of their lives in order to provide for them.
Aging is part of humanity and part of God’s creation, every human being living will get old one day no matter how much you exercise or follow a rigid diet to stay healthy.Unfortunately,the moment a person reaches the age of 60 and above and shows signs of deep wrinkles and menopause or andropause,he/she is been labelled as a witch or wizard and blamed for all the evil happenings in a family.
How life changing will it be if the government is to set up a free medical care for the aged and sick in the society. This can be special and different from the National Health Insurance Scheme that is not effective in various hospitals in the country.
A free health scheme purposely for the aged no matter their location or profession is a sure way of saving the lives of the old folks. Ghana as a country with numerous natural resources at its disposal can set up free health care for the aged.
The ruling government can create a system where it can be convenient for the citizenry to contribute effectively to a National Health Insurance Scheme to benefit the older people only.Organisations and other stakeholders can also contribute to this scheme by donating any amount as and when its available to the scheme. All hands should be on deck regarding a health scheme for older people.
Also it is high time we take a critical step in ensuring our older people are well taken care off by any of us in our small way at our various home, environment and communities. We should have this consciousness that no matter what we do we will age as long as we are living on this earth.
This consciousness should compel us to take care of the aged in our own little ways in our small corners. More so our culture teaches us to help the elderly and aged in our communities, we were taught that the elderly represent our source of wisdom and we look up to them while we mature into adulthood.
We were told to offer seats to the elderly in the car, churches, events and meetings, help them carry their goods from farms and market. We were taught to make them our priority anywhere we find them.
Our culture teaches us to run errands and also help them financially with their basic stuffs. Unfortunately it is an eye sore to walk on the streets of Accra especially Madina,Circle,Dome,Osu,La and find destitute old men and women moving about without knowing where to go.
It is important that each and every one of us no matter where we find ourselves or located, we should endeavor to be good to every elderly man or woman we find. Being good to any elderly man or woman in your youthful days is a sure sign that we are gradually developing a positive effort in ensuring our old folks are properly taken care off.
Helping, providing and taking care of the aged is a collective responsibility of all and we must make a conscious effort to be good to others especially the aged.
By Festus Mawuli