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…call on government to provide data base of vulnerable seniors

The Neuropsychiatric Hospital,Aro Abeokuta has celebrated this year Dementia week with a symposium with the theme, “Remember The Person”.

The event held on thursday at the hospital facility at Isale Abetu, Abeokuta was organised by the Old Age Mental Health Unit of the hospital, also discussed a sub-theme,”Coping with Dimentia Reality”.

The Medical Director of the federal health facility, Dr Paul Agboola while giving his opening remark said the knowledge about the care of senior should be spread beyond medical personnels. He said everyone should be concerned on the care of the elderly with the increasing number of Dementia patient in our society.
He added that the hospital will soon commence the construction of an ultramodern psycho-geriatric building in its facility.

The guest speaker, Dr Lawrence Adebusoye, who heads the Geriatric Centre of the University Teaching Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, explained that dementia is a degenerative disease of the nervous system which is common with aging.

According to him, dementia affects 5 to 11 per cent of the population globally.

Dr Adebusoye noted that it was most common in the north central part of the country.

He gave the risk factors of the disease to include, ageing, low education, vascular and vitamin deficiency, depression and occupational exposure to toxins and metal, among others.

Dr Adebusoye called on families to engage their elderly in social and recreational activities, book reading and generally provide them a homely environment.

He added that, “Sadly the extended family system which could have been a succour to our senior citizens has been eroded. We needs to come back to it.”

Prof. Fatai Badru, of the University of Lagos, called on the Federal government to create a database for the care of the elderly in the country.

He said, “when old age sets in, there is dwindling income and as such, they need help not just from the family, but also the government.Lack of database have made it impossible to advocate for their inclusion in governmental budget.In 2021, they represented about 2.8 per cent of the population, but government is not doing enough because there isn’t even a data to that effect. It’s not enough to have a centre for them but more should be done to have a budget for them, especially the women who are mostly widows.”

The event came to a close with the official opening of the “Hope Villa”, a Senior Citizens Recreational and Day Care Centre , located in the facility at Isale Abetu, by the Medical Director,Dr Agboola and other senior management staffs.

The Hope Villa was also facilitated by effort of Coalition of Society for the Rights of Older People in Nigeria(COSROPIN)Ogun State chapter led by her chairperson, Mrs Dupe Oladimeji.

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