The Centre for Happy Elderly People, CHEP, has called on government and stakeholders alike to think of improved ways to provide care and protection for older persons, especially during this period of the coronavirus pandemic.
Coordinator/Founder of the centre, Jiringho Lilian made the call in a statement made available to the media to commemorate the 10th edition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) tagged “Building A Strong Support For Older Persons: Effects Of COVID-19 Pandemic Protocols”
According to her, the goal of WEAAD is to examine and escalate the challenges of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation by society and provide education on best practices for its prevention and remedies.
Her words: “WEAAD celebration provides an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of the prevention of abuse and neglect of older persons by creating an awareness of cultural, social, economic and demographic processes.
“Under the present situation, should we abandon this last class of people who are highly labour-dependent due to social distancing as contained in the COVID-19 pandemic protocols? If yes, would it not amount to abandonment and isolation which could result in the breach of right of care and associated medical situations such depression, dementia and early death?
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“As expected, we organize various activities to mark and celebrate this special day. In 2019, we conducted visits to some secondary schools to create awareness on elder abuse prevention and gerontological career development in the children. In 2020, following the COVID-19 pandemic, we shall lend our voice to the need for the protection of the community of the older persons who are more susceptible to attack.
“The abuse of elder comes in different forms such as physical, emotional, sexual, neglect or abandonment, financial, etc.
“Social distancing would create isolation from family who will not want to have contact with older persons at home, and if this is not properly explained to and understood by the older persons, it can result in depression and precipitates in fast exit from the surface of the earth. This is a typical example of disengagement theory.”
Jiringho in her book published in 2018, titled “Challenges of The Elderly in Our Society” identifies that the older persons have the right to life, freedom, social security, health, etc.
She suggested that self-isolation will proportionally affect the elderly individuals, whose only social contact is meeting people outside of their homes, hence there is a need to bridge the gap created by social distancing protocol.
She, however, called for support and assistance to enable the centre properly render care to the older persons under their supervision in both Lagos and Ogun States.`