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Calls for establishment of centers for the elderly

A lobby group that advocates for rights of the elderly has called for the establishment of centers for the aged at the counties to ease suffering that the senior citizens are exposed to.

Ahadi Kenya Trust CEO Stanley Kamau said the homes would provide a relief to the many elderly people who have been neglected or are being mistreated by their relatives.

At the homes, they will be away from the agony that they suffer at their homesteads, and will be able to socialize, share their life experiences and live in dignity.

They will also be taken through income generating engagements like weaving, knitting, modeling, activities that can help in conserving our cultures. “In other countries, the programme is working and can work locally,” Kamau said.

They will be exposed and share opinions and ideas as opposed to when at home where they have no one to talk to.

They will also be engaged in traditional activities that can generate income and also that can help in conserving our cultures,” he said.

Thika MP Patrick Wainaina called for provision of home-based care for the elderly where nurses; health care-givers and counselors provide health and psychosocial support at their homes; if establishment of the centers proved expensive to run.

In the home-based care programme, the care-givers and nurses visit the elderly weekly, test them of blood pressure, sugar levels, and other illnesses, treat or refer them to hospitals.

“I’m running such a programme in Thika where I have employed nurses and care-givers who visit the elderly weekly. They are counseled and treated. If this can be reciprocated throughout the country, we can help our senior citizens from depression,” he said.

He also raised concern over the high number of the elderly who were unaware of the government’s cash transfer programme, adding that those registered found the procedure of accessing the monthly stipends unfriendly.

National Chairperson of Children Services Joyce Ngugi decried the rate at which city women abandoned their children in the rural areas to be taken care of by their aging parents.

“Life in the city confuses them until they forget their families back home. Their weak, aged and ailing parents get the responsibility of hustling for the kids,” she said.

The women recounted abandonment, poor health, rape and near suicide experiences among others.

By Muoki Charles

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