According to UN reports, “Older people have always played a significant role in society as leaders, caretakers and custodians of tradition. Yet they are also highly vulnerable, with many falling into poverty, becoming disabled or facing discrimination. As health care improves, the population of older people is growing. Their needs are also growing, as are their contributions to the world”.
In Nigeria, Elderly persons are faced with myriads of problems including increased economic stress, health challenges and a decrease in functional independence which has made them dependent on others.
In a recent event organized FEYReP, to celebrate the elderly at the state Banquet Hall in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the Founder of FEYReP, Dr Martha Emmanuel, while interacting with the elders entreated them to consistently adjust to the changing times and be more mindful of their health in order to live productively. She said she decided to celebrate them because it was no mean feat to attain the age of 70 and above, promising that she would endeavour to keep in touch with them at the grassroots level. She also enlightened them on government policies, such as the free medical treatment for the aged, urging that they take advantage of the scheme.
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr. Glory Edet, described the day as historic, saying as part of the social activities of Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme (FEYReP), the wife of governor decided to host the elderly from the 329 wards of the state to rekindle and put smiles on their faces.
Commissioner for Rural Development, Ekong Sampson, appreciated the Governor’s wife for bringing out the elderly from the rural areas to identify with them. The event witnessed a health talk where the elderly were advised on diet, medication and lifestyle suitable for their age groups.