Abuse of elderly persons is said to be on the rise in Ghana despite existence of a National Ageing Policy approved by government seven years ago.

Local non-governmental organization, Guardians of Gray Masters Foundation, suggests adults suffer physical, spiritual and emotional torture each passing day.

Executive Director, Abigail Appiah, tells Joy News majority of such cases go unreported.

Though figures are not available, she says abuse occurs in homes, healthcare institutions and even within religious space.

The World Health Organization estimates the population of people above 60-years will exceed that of younger persons by 2050.

Neglect, violence, and exploitation are among major issues facing senior citizens around the world

They however remain the least reported and investigated forms of violence in developing countries like Ghana.

 Guardians of Gray Masters Foundation wants government to put in place more effective measures to protect the aged.

The foundation’s Executive Director, Abigail Appiah says, “About 90 % of these people live in extreme poverty-no money to access health insurance, pay caregiver, eat or take care of themselves in illness. They face stigmatization and neglect. The aged are physically assaulted, spiritually maligned and emotionally bruised in various ways”

Government approved in 2010 a national policy on ageing but had to run to the World Health Organization two years later to seek help for implementation.

A multi-stakeholder team was then set up to draw concrete recommendations for addressing priority areas.

These recommendations cover community sensitization as well as broadening the coverage of national health insurance schemes.

It also makes hearing devices and eye glasses available to the aged.

They were later absorbed into Ghana’s 3-year Medium Term Health Strategy which started in 2014.

The foundation wants government to speed up passage of the National Aged Bill into law as well as constitute a National Council on Ageing.

“Fighting elder abuse should be a concern to every individual because as the saying goes, 'the young shall grow-both the rich and poor'.

"Fighting elder abuse is fighting for the comfort of our future in our old age,” says Mrs Abigail Appiah.

The United Nations has designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day .

It draws global attention to the problem of physical, emotional and financial abuse of the aged.

The theme for the year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is, “Understand and End Financial Abuse of Older People: A Human Rights Issue.”

 

Tags: