KAMPALA – Having worked so hard in their youthhood time, the elderly seem not to enjoy their retirement, due to a number of challenges they are encountering, among these includes loneliness, diseases like dementia, and starvation, which leaves them worried much of their time.
Ms. Nabuwembo Jacinta, an elderly rehabilitator, says the government should put it under consideration to construct care centers for the aging society, where they can gather and access their services.
“Providing services to elderlies becomes easy since they converge in one place because most of them live in areas which are not easily accessed and makes them miss the services meant for them,” she says.
On Tuesday this publication once again met senior citizen Mariam Nasejje 87, in her home in Bwebajja in Wakiso district, but her situation is worrying, after showing us a spoilt bed, with old torn clothes.
Not only having a messed bed, the 87-years-old, lives in poor health conditions, spending a night on the bed without a mosquito net, in the leaking house, accompanied with prolonged starvation, all this puts her life in danger.
According to Ms. Namwanje Deborah, an elderly rehabilitator expert, constructing elderly care centers is the solution to all problems affecting the elderly, saying in such areas, there are people taking care and looking after the group, and providing for them, the necessary requirements to better their lives.
“Experts will be there to cater for this group and provide for them, with the help of the government, then leaving them in their old houses, to die, despite their contribution to this nation,” said Ms. Namwanje bitterly.
She reveals, in Uganda, there are no strict laws to protect the aged society. Since many of them have been murdered in cold blood, by those who grab their wealth, saying the only to save their lives, is by taking them to care centers.
“Government has failed to protect the senior group, after media reports, confirming them murdered by their grandchildren or even their own children, with interest to take away their properties, implying that, the place they are safe, is taking them in care centers.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics’ recent household survey, shows, in the year 2012, Uganda had 1,304,500 older persons, whereas in 2014 Population Census indicated that the older persons were 1,433,305, however, UNFPA projected that the population is to reach 5,420,000, by 2050.
Among these, if singled out, many are widowed, disabled, women living alone and prone to chronic poverty.
Currently Uganda, as a country with aging persons, has only a few elderly care centers, though PML Daily has not yet confirmed the actual numbers, among these include, Golden Age Elderly Home, Uganda Home of Elderly Care Home, among others, and it was against this background, a closed source from The Aged Family Uganda, a registered Non-Governmental Organization, whose mission is to advocate for and provide care to the older persons, urged to government to embrace the contribution of the group by not leaving them to live in worrying situations.
“The only way the government can protect the elderly is by putting them in the places where it is easier to access services and also at the same time easy to be monitored 24/7,” a source told PML Daily News.
However, in 2019, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development required shs. 29.6 billion to cater for the elderly, under the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE), in the financial year 2019/2020. The former Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon Janat Mukwaya, revealed that covering all persons of 80 years and above in all the 135 districts in the country requires shs.142.5 billion each year