I once met a woman, who has an only son. The son was faraway in a university learning, this woman had a chronic ailment, she was bedridden and no one was there to help. Her husband had divorced her shortly after her ailment started. This woman didn’t allow her son quit his education, she will rather stay a lone in bed soiled with urine and feaces. Similarly, I met another man, elderly and frail. He was always left on the chair in his living room because there was no one to care for him. He had pampers on, when I met him. I met these two people after I graduated from school, and I was working with a private hospital.

Sometimes tears unknowingly would drop from my eyes anytime I went there to attend to them. Unfortunately, they are both late, may their souls rest in peace. My experiences with these people, and even with my own mother who I am presently caring for has led me to this project called GANAT HEALTHCARE INITIATIVE.

I began to ask questions like, what are we doing about the senior citizens, the elderly or older persons in our societies? What are the policies put in place by the government for them? Are the infrastructure, social and health systems designed to accommodate them? How do people, I mean members of the same families, how do they treat their elderly ones?

This is what GANAT HEALTHCARE INITIATIVE is all about, the elderly. I want to help you explore the world of the senior citizens, so that you can understand how to treat them better.We will start by looking at THE CONCEPT OF AGEING.

THE CONCEPT OF AGEING is a gradual process of physical and functional changes in an individual. It doesn’t start when you are old, rather, it begins from birth.Therefore, as you are reading this, I am also talking to you, not just your 70years old granny. You are ageing too. This mindset will help you get rid of any form of ageism against the older persons or senior citizens. If everyone in government today, if every policy makers know this and they come to that awareness, that sooner than later they will be like that elderly woman or man that no one has time for. When we all know this,  we will begin to put policy in place, we will ensure that our social and health systems accommodate the older population amongst us.


CHRONOLOGICAL AGEING: this has to do with how old someone is, how long have they spent on earth? World Health Organisation has classified people from age 65 and above as elderly. That someone is chronologically aged does not mean they are less human. Honestly, we have some 70years old men and women that are more fit than some 30years old men or women. Do not discriminate against the older persons because of their chronological age.

BIOLOGICAL OR PHYSICAL AGEING: this is determined by the cellular changes within the human body. Do not confuse this with chronological age because you will see some teenagers who are already looking like young adults or older persons. Biological or physical ageing process can be slowed or accelerated, depending on what we do, eat, drink, whether we exercise or not and where we live. I will discuss these factors in details in other posts.

PSYCHOLOGICAL AGEING: this is ageing of the mind. It greatly depends on people’s mental health. Again, that someone has aged chronologically and biologically does not mean they should not be consulted or carried along when making decisions that directly affect them. Decisions such as, where they want to live after retirement, what they would like to do as they climb the ladder of old age, their diets and a whole lots of other things. They should be involved in the decision making. It is only when they lack the mental capacity to do so that they may not be consulted. A 78-year old woman who is capable of making the above decisions is considered psychologically young and fit, though she is chronologically and biologically aged.

SOCIAL AGEING: this form of ageing involves obvious adjustment in people’s relationships. For example, their relationship with family and friends,  at workplace,  religious gatherings and sporting events. If we classify people as old based on their age alone, it equally affects their social relationships. Older citizens want to associate, they like to be remembered not ignored, they like visitation.

It is good to drive them to park sometimes, as far as you can ensure their safety. That people are aged do not mean their social relationships and lives have been destroyed. Even the weakest of them all can still exhibit social interaction if given the chance. Hence, as individuals, as a government and as policy makers, we need to ensure that needed infrastructures that we advocate for everyday accommodate the older persons too, not just the youths, not just the working class.

We need to have them in mind when discussing our social and health systems.WHO has said that, between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of world’s population over 60years will nearly double from 12% to 22%. This is what the world needs to prepare for, do not let it come upon us unaware like the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In my next post, I will be discussing FACTORS THAT ACCELERATE AGEING and how to prevent them.Care for the elderly always! Do stay safe.
#Seniorcitizens #Olderpersons #Elderlycare #Elderlyhealth #Health #Geriatrics #WHO


My name is Adesuyi Adesina, 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.

22 replies
  1. Tunde Fakunle
    Tunde Fakunle says:

    “For whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee”
    This is a powerful and very relevant article for all times. We used to have a Social net system in Africa to take take care of the seniors in our society but that system is collapsing under the weight of modernism and undue “westernization” of our value systems and long cherished principles of social solidarity and communalism.

    You deserve all the support in this onerous assignment

  2. Adura
    Adura says:

    This is a good initiative.. the elderly ones needs as sense of belonging, it’s our responsibility to provide care,to be there for them,make them feel loved,as they will be away from depression and a feeling of isolation
    Communicating and spending quality time with them also goes a long way to make them feel loved…
    Let’s follow closely.. Thanks for this initiative Sir

  3. Akanle Juliet
    Akanle Juliet says:

    This is a very good initiative doctor, now I know how to take better care of my 70yr old father. God bless you

  4. Obaroh John Boroh
    Obaroh John Boroh says:

    This is good, Doc. I have read and archived it already for reference. Thanks for contributing positively to the limited public knowledge in this area of managing our senior citizens and family members.
    This post is particularly important and relevant to me ‘cos I’m nearer by the day to your WHO’s definition of the elderly.
    Please keep up the effort.

  5. Sekoni Damilola
    Sekoni Damilola says:

    This is a great initiative. I look forward to how you intend going about it really. These class of persons ordinarily should have free medical attention in Govt owned hospitals but the reverse is the case. Sooner or later, we will get to that bracket. The foundation laid now will determine our fate. Once again, I celebrate you Doc for this initiative.

  6. Engr. FOWORA
    Engr. FOWORA says:

    I had a past experience of caring for my father in his latter years until his final passing. I strong agree with you Dr Adesuyi that our elderly ones deserve the best of our care, time and attention to keep them in good spirits; especially in this constantly changing world. This will in-turn be a constant reminder to us that we are all aging daily. Doctor am happy to play a part in this brilliant health concept .

  7. Engr. Ogu
    Engr. Ogu says:

    This is an immensely commendable concept in a world where people have become more and more self- centered the elderly have been decleared enfangered specie.
    Kindly add me to your mailing list for subsequent posts.


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