Coordinator, Center for Happy Elderly People CHEP, a non-governmental organisation which specializes in giving care to the elderly citizens, Mrs. Lilian Jiringho, has urged the government to include gerontology in the school curriculum in order to educate students on how to give care to the aged.
Mrs. Jiringho disclosed gave the advise during the World Elderly Abuse Awarenes Day (WEAAD) which took place recently in Lagos.
Speaking, Mrs. Jiringho said there is no gerontological course studied in schools here in Nigeria, except in masters programme. “ We are campaigning to promote education on gerontology in Nigeria, because of the lack of awareness of the course, we have visited schools to do career awareness on gerontology, to mark the World Elderly Abuse Awarenes Day (WEAAD).
Mrs. Joringho who decried the recent agitations for break up in Nigeria said division in the country may not enable the elderly citizens come together to carry out their usual checkups, meet each other and stay as happy as they have always been.
“Just as we are here, we have a social group called CHEP elders forum, they are of different tribes and religions, if there is division in the country, this means that they will not want to come together, they are putting heads together to promote unity in the Nation, they also pray for the unityand the improvement of the Nigerian Economy”.
While encouraging young people to give support to the elderly citizens, the coordinator said patience is key to dealing with the elderly, advising that anyone who has an encounter with the elderly should be tolerant.
She explained that the trend of extension of life expectancy at birth and at the age of 60 as well as the decreasing fertility rate changed the demographic structure of countries across the globe in 21 century, saying this is a triumph of development, through a challenge that the society must face.
“Countries across the world will have to adapt their policies, economic, health and social services to the needs of older people, in other to ensure quality of care, secure income and access to goods, more flexible employment, better inclusion and participation of older people in all the segments of the society.
It is especially important to ensure respect of human rights of older people, population of ageing is a global trend and it demands urgent action in all the segment of society.
In 1980, the ratio of world population above 60 was 86%, statistical data shows that since year 2000, the ration of people over 60 was higher I global population than the ratio of children under five, predictions state that by 2050, the ration will be higher than that of children under 15.” She said.