Kakalistiq.com reports that the Thani-Oladunjoye Old People Care Centre (TOOPCC) has called upon the Nigerian government to address the issue of ageism, which stigmatizes aging individuals when seeking quality healthcare, in alignment with the United Nations agreement of 2019.
This call comes in response to troubling feedback from elderly citizens who shared distressing experiences when seeking medical care at Primary Health Centers and General Hospitals in Epe, Lagos State, and the country at large.
The plea was made by Mrs. Oluwayemisi Oluwole, President of the Age Nigeria Foundation, during the 2023 International Day of Older Persons lecture, organized by the Thani-Oladunjoye Old People Care Centre (TOOPCC) themed ‘Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations.’
The event, organized by the Thani Oladunjoye Old People Center (TOOPC) featured various activities including indoor games, dance, lectures, interactive sessions, presentation of prizes and, palliative distribution, took place on Sunday, October 1st, 2023, in Epe.
Mrs. Oluwole emphasized that as a signatory to the United Nations agreement in 2019, Nigeria is obligated to provide comprehensive healthcare services for all citizens without financial hardship. She stressed the importance of addressing the healthcare needs of older individuals, particularly at Primary Health Centers, which are more accessible to them. Many older people, she noted, prefer to avoid hospitals altogether and would rather stay at home due to the challenging experiences they encounter.
“We don’t want a situation where ageism in the health sector is regarded as a plight rather than providing them with the proper attention they deserve. If a younger person visits a healthcare facility to complain about their health challenges, are the nurses or doctors going to dismiss their age as a predicament? Older individuals require attention from healthcare experts. If the government assesses the situation, it can enhance the services provided to our elderly citizens. I believe it would be a fair approach.”
She emphasized that the key factors to address are accessibility, availability, acceptability, and quality healthcare service delivery, from the local government level upwards. The ultimate goal is to ensure that older individuals receive the care and support they deserve, and anything less would indicate the need for further improvements in Nigeria’s healthcare system.
Mrs. Oluwole expressed her delight in providing support to the Thani Oladunjoye Old People Care Center since its inception and commended the convener’s passion and commitment to assisting the elderly. She noted that providing care for them at no cost is a rare and valuable gesture.
“Not everyone has a passion for older people. They often face stereotypes and misconceptions about their conditions. Some believe that they must have done something wrong in their youth, leading to divine punishment in old age. Some even discourage others from helping or supporting the elderly, fearing supernatural consequences,” she added.
Mrs. Oluwole expressed optimism that the collaboration between the two organizations would significantly improve the living conditions of the elderly in Epe. She highlighted the introduction of games and other activities as part of the partnership, which has greatly enhanced the lives of older individuals.
See more photos from the event: