A financial expert named Laja Shoniran, who recently published a new book titled “Retirement Reinvented” with the goal of educating Nigerians about life after retirement, has revealed that as Nigeria passes through challenges and struggles with a number of socio-economic challenges, which have an effect on the most vulnerable members of the community, there is a pressing need to guarantee that the nation’s elderly citizens have access to healthcare that is both affordable and of a high standard.
Shoniran made these remarks at the 2023 International Day of Older Persons Celebration hosted by the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Lagos, Nigeria. He stated that the current era of high-level economic, political, and social uncertainties makes now an appropriate time to fulfil the commitments of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for older persons across generations. He believes that it is imperative that Nigeria take action against elder abuse and reaffirm its dedication to protecting their rights, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The elderly should enjoy respect, dignity, and a good life.
He emphasised that people of all generations have a responsibility to collaborate in order to bring about a society in which the elderly can enjoy the respect, dignity, and quality of life that is rightfully theirs as they grow older. He stated that the purpose of the programme was to look back on past events, acknowledge the present, and look forward to a brighter future in which the freedoms and worth of the elders are maintained across generations.
According to him, the International Day of Older Persons is an important occasion because it recognises and appreciates the significant contributions of the elderly population. The country needs to work on building societies where everyone is welcome, and older people feel valued and involved. He said one way to accomplish this is through the promotion of intergenerational activities, during which the experience and knowledge of the older generation can be passed on to the younger generation.
Legal framework and support for their protection are needed.
Furthermore, the elderly people have made significant contributions to the formation of society by providing their knowledge, experience, and labour. In addition, they have been responsible for the formation of families, the establishment of businesses, and the enhancement of culture. Nevertheless, despite the significant contributions they make, they frequently face challenges such as social isolation, a lack of access to adequate healthcare, and economic insecurity. There are even instances in which they are subjected to abuse and neglect.
Also, he observed that there are many different ways in which older people can be abused, including physically, emotionally, financially, and through neglect. It is a severe breach of their human rights, and the country needs to set up robust legal frameworks and support systems in order to protect them. Everyone should make it a priority to combat all types of elder abuse by committing to increasing awareness of the issue and providing the resources needed to do so.
Younger generation also has a significant role to play.
Lastly, people should keep in mind, on the occasion of 2023 World Elders Day, that the promise made in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not constrained by time or age. To respect the worth and rights of every person, regardless of age, is a principle that will never go out of trend. Therefore, he asserted that the younger generation has a responsibility to respect and care for older people so that they may live with honour and dignity, having contributed so much to the lives of those around them through their wisdom, experience, and love.