‘The aged need right attention and care’

Accra� The Elderly need to be taken care of to be in good health, both mentally and physically, Mr Mawutor Ablo, a Director at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has said.

Many of the elderly have people taking care of them, but these people do not necessarily have the right expertise for the job, said Mr Ablo, the Director of Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry.

Speaking at the launch of a book titled: Elderly Care Teachers Manual, Mr Ablo said when the core needs of the elderly such as nutritional and psychological needs were well served, it contributes towards their over-all well-being, making them healthier and prolongs their lifespan.

He noted, for example, that the lack of understanding of dementia, a condition common with elderly people, often led to some aged being accused of witch-craft, which was quite unfortunate.

Mr Ablo said the Book, an initiative of the Health Services Workers Union and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Ghana, was of uttermost significance to the improvement of healthcare delivery in the country.

He said the Ministry was collaborating with a number of stakeholders on how to have a day care centre in every district, where the elderly would go to socialise and have fun.

These centres would even be of use to the entire public because they would have a concentration of experts in various fields to give advice and share experiences, he said.

Mr Ablo said it was not enough to focus only on people in active service but those on retirement must be taken care of because old age and retirement await everyone.

We can, for example educate workers on healthy living that will prevent degenerative diseases when they are old and retired.

Mr Joshua Ansah, the Deputy Secretary General of the TUC, who launched the Book, said it would be a shame if a country of about 30 million people could not take proper care of her aged, who were just about one million.

He noted that people in active service did not understand the difficulties of being old and on retirement, adding; until you get there, when you do not have certain benefits anymore, that is typically when all kinds of ailments begin to crop up.

Mr Ansah said it was very important for government and all stakeholders to realise that everyone would grow old and once you are old, you need more care than when you are young.

The 161 page Book, with 13 chapters, serves as a manual for people, especially health workers, who take care of the aged, to help them to understand their work.

It treats topics such as; Care for the Elderly with Dementia; The Right Way of Communicating with the Elderly; Personal Hygiene as well as Physical Exercises for the Elderly.

Source: Ghana News Agency