Professor Mavis Dako-Gyeke, Director of Centre for Ageing Studies, College of Humanities, University of Ghana, has urged the Parliament of Ghana to expedite the passage of the Aged Persons’ Bill into law.
She said the Bill when passed would highlight the principal guidelines for the holistic care of older persons.
Professor Dako-Gyeke said this when she addressed the media ahead of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons.
The Day, which is celebrated every October 1, seeks to raise awareness of the importance of improved care and living conditions for older persons.
This year’s day would be commemorated on the theme, “Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World.”
Professor Dako-Gyeke said the theme highlighted the resilience of older persons in the face of environmental, social, economic and lifelong inequalities.
“Extant research on older persons in Ghana report that chronic ailments, geriatric-specific situations, isolation and neglect, and ageism constitute some of the challenges experienced by older persons. To overcome these challenges, older persons may have to adopt certain coping strategies to become resilient,” she added.
She stressed that it had become necessary to devote time to focus on ageing-related issues to unearth solutions that could enhance their overall well-being.
Professor Dako-Gyeke, therefore, called on government and other stakeholders to explore the use of policies and legal frameworks to ensure that older persons maintained resilience and improved their quality of life.
She urged society, especially young people, to pay attention to older persons and assist them, saying, in future, old age would catch up with them as well.
She said the Centre had also been training health workers and caregivers in elderly care as well as had been undertaking outreach programmes for the elderly.
Dr Frank Dzifa Kpesenu, National Programme Coordinator for Healthy Ageing Programme, Family Health Division, Ghana Health Service, said the Service was training specialised health workers who would handle older persons at district hospitals.
He said it was to ensure that older persons were treated with utmost care and dignity at health centres.
Dr Kpesenu added that as part of efforts to improve healthy living among older persons, the Service was ensuring they had access to curative services for common diseases.