“Family provides us with the feathers with which we take our first flight in life”- Adesuyi Adesina.
Michael J. Fox puts in a fantastic way by saying “Family is not an important thing, it’s everything.” Family is the fundamental unit of every society. No one needs the support of family more than the elderly or senior citizens.
Most times, older persons are often neglected by their families, as a result of their pursuit of other life events, we can be busy with work, we can be far away in another country and forget to care for them.
My post today is to challenge you to do better, you can do better, and I will be sharing with you how to do that.
Everybody does need the support of family, we all need one another. However, I have identified three (3) categories of people that need it more. If you have anyone in the categories below, please, do whatsoever is in your power to give them the needed support.
– Children
– People with disabilities
– Elderly/Senior citizens ✓
1. VISITATION:  As simple as it sounds, this is the most important thing among all the things I will be sharing with you today. Visiting your aged parents, uncles, aunties and family members will help you discover a lot. Such as, their living conditions, health and well being. You will have one on one conversation with them. This is golden! I enjoy talking to my mother, just sitting by the bedside and talking to her. It always feels great.
2. MONTHLY UPKEEP: You have to make conscious effort to include them in your budget. Write it in your diary and be committed to it. Just like you budget for your car, home and projects. Your elderly ones should be included. Most people give their aged parents what is left after they have spent almost all the money on other things. This is wrong. I want you to write this in your diary today: MONTHLY BUDGET FOR MY AGED PARENTS = { put a figure you can keep up with every month} You will be glad you did.
3. MEDICAL CARE: Every senior citizens should have a primary care physician. This physician will know them personally, this is the doctor who takes care of them when they are sick, he also refers them to a specialist if they need a specialist care. I want you to look around where your aged parents live, find a primary care physician in either a private or public hospital and register them there. You can also request for home consultation for them, the healthcare workers will come and meet them at home to attend to their health needs. This can be a little expensive.
4. CARE GIVER: It is important to say that I know most people are busy with work, business and other projects. Some people do not even live in the same town or country with their aged parents. The option of a care giver or home assistant can be explored. This is a process whereby you employ someone to look after and care for your parents. If you are doing this, ensure you do the followings:
– The care giver must be screened medically
– Ensure the care giver is responsible
– Care giver must provide references
– The duties of the care giver must be clearly stated
– Care giver must have the capacity to carry out stated duties.
5. CARE HOMES: There are elderly care homes all around us. If you are not around, and there is no one to look after your elderly parents, please consider this option. Do not leave them alone at home, they can be left for few hours, but not days, months and years. There are good elderly homes you can put them. At Ganat Healthcare Initiative, we are waiting for this COVID-19 pandemic to taper down before we launch our Elderly Care Home, which is going to be free by the grace of God, and the help of our sponsors and donors.
6. SOCIAL OUTINGS: Socialisation should be encouraged among senior citizens, they should be encouraged to go to church, mosque, parks and other lovely places. This will improve their mental health status, and allow for minimal exercise. Unfortunately, this may not be practicable at the moment due to the ongoing pandemic.
7. NUTRITION: I have written about this in my previous post. Kindly refer to my post here to learn more about this.
8. EMOTIONAL SUPPORT: This is very important, and  should come from family members. The aged in our societies deserve our support in little things, apart from providing for their needs physically, their psychological well-being is equally important. This will make them live longer and stay healthier.
This is how to demonstrate love for older persons, let them know you care about them. I want you to cultivate the habit of loving older persons specially. Let me end with the words of Friedrich Nietzsche ; “In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.” And  Barbara Bush said ; “To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.”
Thank you for reading this far, your comments and questions would be appreciated.
My name is Adesuyi Adesina, the founder and CEO of Ganat Healthcare Initiative. I am passionate about the care and health of older persons in our society. Senior citizens deserve good elderly care homes and better healthcare services.