Undoubtedly, palliative care services and adequate care for the elderly and frail have provided the much needed succour for several families in Nigeria and the world at large.
Unfortunately, these services have been lacking in the Nigeria society.
However stakeholders in homecare services say lack of state provision for eldercare in Nigeria has made it almost compulsory for families to provide the needs for the survival of the older people. Managing Director of Wellcare Home Medicals, a pioneer professional home-based caregiver in Nigeria, Dr. Mrs. Jumoke Odunsi, who noted that most elderly people including the chronically ill in the country die due to lack of proper care.
Odunsi who dropped from medicine practice after 10 years said she ventured into the service to ensure that these categories of Nigerians get the best of care. She lamented that the decline in the economy, gradual disintegration of the extended family system, unemployment, increasing female employment, as well as urbanisation all have contributed to the noticeable decline in the level of care provided by the family in recent times.
“It is in this regard that Wellcare Home Medicals is making effective contributions to the wellbeing of older people through homecare services. We offer a variety of medical and non-medical related services through our trained care-givers (trained with the UK Care Modules) that allow older persons to continue to enjoy their independence and live happy and dignified lives”, shesaid.
According to her, the WHO Key Fact 2011 indicates that, the world’s population of people 60 years of age and older has doubled since 1980 and is forecast to reach 2 billion by 2050. Around 4-6 per cent of elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment at home which can lead to serious physical injuries and long term psychological consequences and elder maltreatment is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations.
She hinted that Wellcare Home Medicals provides home support services to the old and frail, chronically ill, terminally ill, post hospitalisation, nursing care, personal aides/care giver services, doctor’s visit, physiotherapy services and hospice care. While advocating provision of some form of care for the elderly in the society, she hinted how its services have been helping to ameliorate the plight of the elderly.