Osie Adja Tekpor VII, Paramount Chief of Avatime, has called on the government to work assiduously on a national policy on the aged to offer dignity and substance to aging.
He said the policy will among others, bring to the fore the importance of old age which had been lost on the country’s youth as some associate old age with witchcraft.
Osie Adja Tekpor made the call at the inauguration of the Avatime Vane Old People’s Association (AVOPA).
He described older people as sources of inspiration and wisdom needed for the socio-economic security of communities and the nation at large.
Osie Adja Tekpor observed that the country’s extended family system had broken down thereby exposing older people to all forms of hardship and advised government to expedite work on a policy to protect them.
He stated that there was support from international organizations for older people across the world and urged the government and other institutions working with the aged to work together to access such support.
Mr. Nathaniel Botchway, a social worker of Field of Ageing, advocated the formation of older people’s association in communities across the country to seek the welfare of the senior citizens.
He said such associations could also work to stop discriminations against older people and change bad perceptions about the aged.
“Some older people are bedridden, marginalized and neglected but such groupings would give them some comfort and a sense of belonging”, Mr. Botchway said.
Mr. Emmanuel Bedzra, Member of Parliament for Ho-West, commended the community for the initiative and hoped government’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) project would soon be implemented nationwide to give some economic security, opportunity and dignity to the aged.
The Queen of Avatime and Chairperson of AVOPA, Onetsitsie Osei Yawa VIII, said the association is opened to all with its main aim of making older people have a sense of belonging and making them economically active.
Ms. Araba Tachie-Menson, Coordinator of AVOPA, said the association had a snail farm, cotton spinning group and was starting a nursery project for trees in the community in line with government’s aforestation project.