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Charly Boy says STOP “Throwing our Aged Parents in the Trash Bin”

BellaNaija.com

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Life as we all know evolves in stages.

From birth, we begin the process of aging. All things being equal, majority of us will grow old. Thus it will be apt to say that aging is inevitable for us. So why do we as a society pay the least attention to this process. What kinda welfare system should we have in order to adequately take care of our aged, (The old people in our society/parents or relatives) especially the ones we love.

For three years before my father passed, he was never paid his pension. My mum is going through the same thing. I keep wondering, what if the financial or emotional means to take care of them was lacking, they probably will be like some of our aged pensioners who probably die standing in line waiting for their pension that never came.

I am of the opinion we are not doing enough as a society. It is deplorable that so many people work and expend all their energy and when they become old, there’s no one to really take care of them. In one episode of my radio show (Talk Junction), we talked about the need for parents to ensure that they bond with their children because we believe that children who have a close bond with their parents are the ones most likely to take charge and care of them in their old age. That’s the way society is meant to evolve. we as children should be the ones to look after our parents, yes it is the African way. They slaved and spent all their lives looking after us so it is expected that we in return should take care of them. My parents lived with me for several years after their retirement. My widowed mum is 97 years old and I can’t imagine her living anywhere else but with me. Being the primary caregiver and living again under the same roof with your parents is an enormous role reversal.

Most of us living with aged parents find it difficult to balance our own busy schedules with looking after an aged parent so much so that sometimes it could be misconstrued as not caring. For some, it could be that the global financial mess, has left us thinking about self and our survival only. But this piece is about those who can but don’t want to. I am of the opinion that not just government but also the corporate bodies need to focus more on developing policies that protect this age bracket. In more developed society it is very easy to see a nursing home systems that caters to the old people but how effective can that be in our country. This is a place where most pensioners can’t even get access to their pension after retirement. Corruption has eaten so deep into our various systems that even the basic are not provided by the system. For me  nursing homes are so impersonal and that is not our culture in Africa.

For people like us who don’t have the benefits of earning any pension, we are on our own. God forbid that in our old age we become either a liability to our children or worse still, a liability to ourselves. We have all seen the antecedents of government towards the aged and until a miracle happens, I’m not sure that will change  anytime soon. I have never worked for anyone so what I’ve done is that through all the years, I have consistently put aside a monthly savings in a fixed account on regular basis which I haven’t touched for over 30 years despite sometimes my financial hardship. Planing, saving and discipline is the key to making the twilight years of our lives easier.

A lot of people wake up to the reality that after years of service, they don’t have much to show for it and that can lead to bitterness in old age. My summary on this will be to advice all of us to learn to cultivate the habit of saving for this phase of our life’s. We must imbibe the attitude of saving for the rainy day and our old age is the rainy day.

One day, we as parents won’t be able to drive, to climb stairs, or maybe even change our own clothes or feed ourselves. As painful as thinking about this might be, we need to prepare for our comfort and safety in the last stages of our lives. My  prayer for us parents is to have children who will keep us company in our old age maybe take care of us with love and anything else.

Ka chineke mezieokwu.

13 Comments

  1. Oh Yeah?

    November 25, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Who does that?? It is not even an African culture… we Africans we always cared for our parents. i DONT KNOW where you are coming from with that information or idea….. Maybe you are the one throwing your parents in the trash bin… No one does that in AFRICA.

    • Lyon Jasper

      November 25, 2015 at 11:18 am

      (((((GBAM)))))

    • Puzzles

      November 25, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Sorry, but I know of and have heard of people who have “thrown their parents in the trash bin” so to speak. People who have the financial means but choose not to for selfish reasons. Yes, they are in Nigeria.

      My worry is that whether we like it or not, some people will grow old without having any kids of their own to take care of them. Either they never got married or they did but were not blessed with children, or were blessed with children who turn out to be unable or unwilling to take care of them, and there are some parents whose children would died before them (God forbid). Who will take care of these ones?

      I sincerely wished there is an old people/nursing home system like that available in advanced countries so that those without kids can make proper planning for their old age, and even those with kids, in case their kids turn out to be 2 Timothy children (those with characteristics highlighted in 2 Timothy 3: 1-5)

  2. nnenne

    November 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    @ puzzles. .. I had a relation like you described on my father’s side of the family. The entire family took care of him….daily upkeep, housing, medical , sent his kids to school , paid for his burial and have continued to take care of his widow
    That is the African way.
    But suppose he had no family to do that for him?
    Why would old people not get pensions they contributed to?

  3. frank teacher

    November 25, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    That picture right there! spoke a lot, I don’t mean on the topic oh,
    the picture had me first. Cool-headed Oputa, granny who passed her genes to the hot-headed Oputa, hot mama, I mean… I could just go on.

  4. ElessarisEllendil

    November 25, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Hate to beat an already broken drum…..but higher taxes, less spending on Political office holders.

  5. Tosin

    November 25, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    May God bless our parents. And bless them with health and strength. Amen.

  6. nunulicious

    November 25, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    the pension fund available right now is 4.3 trillion naira. Biko nu, is it too hard for it to be mandatory for PFA’s to have at least one old people’s home in each state of Nigeria?
    so many things that can be done…but who shall lead the way?

  7. bisisexy

    November 25, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Dis pension ting is very bad,we in d civil service are just working for other pple,i even heard yahoo boys steal pple ‘s pension,by tapping from their pension account, tru d pfa no given to dem by pple working in d pension office Anoda example is if u enter u job at level 8,u will remit say 4000k every mth, but d more u go higher d more it increases,but in Nigerian pension they won’t show d increase in ur pension alert, but they will b deducting from ur salary.i heard dat is how dey make deir millions, wen we went dere to individual pension. Company to complain dat was 3 yrs ago”till today problem still persist,at the pension Company, dey pretend dey are concerned, bcos 3 trillion is unclaimed from pension in cbn vaults, some one will eat the money in cbn too, later come and say story

  8. Mabel

    November 26, 2015 at 1:29 am

    I told my parents I realize already the type of seniors they are going to be, and that I am going to put on the beating on them to keep them in place, you should have seen the look of utter fear in their eyes..lol. I was completely being an azz and playing with them.

    Charly has touched on a very important yet sensitive topic. Now that I am older I am saving a lot in my retirement account. Folks have to do for self and squeeze and put away something no matter how hard it is. Depending on children is not a good plan because children can die or they could end up with their own health issues or lack of finances to provide for you in old age. Further, so many ppl ill=treat their elderly folks, elderly abuse happens more frequently than ppl think. I am not putting faith in anyone to do for me, I am fully conscious that I am responsible for myself and I pray for good health in body and mind to be fully independent to the last day of life.

    My grandma has dementia and even with giving birth to ten children it was not easy working out a plan for who will be taking care of her, her sons are pretty much non-existent in her care and provide absolutely nothing for her, even though they are greater in numbers. Everything has fallen on the daughters to do. I think at the end of the day many ppl feel that taking care of their elderly is simply an intrusion into their life. When we pray at night and we pray for long life we should remember to pray for the health, wisdom and physical strength to go with it.

  9. dayo

    November 26, 2015 at 2:29 am

    @oh yeah? You say…”who does that?” Well, for one the Western Society that you so love to COPY does that! They pay out pensions on time to the pensioners, but the elderly are shuttled away from younger family members into “HOMES”(boarding houses where everyone except the workers are strangers, old and infirmed) ; where if they are unlucky, will end up been abused physically, emotionally, sexually, and psychologically. Just been kept away from grandchildren is extremely traumatic in its own respect. Let alone been subjected to so-called-health workers that don’t give a damn about old people, and are just in it for the money! So therefore this article is a warning, and a caution for us that can still remember the importance of Grandparents to Posterity:..YOU DID NOT MAKE YOURSELF(directed at the Nigerian Youth)!!! AND WHY ON EARTH THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT DOES NOT PAY PENSIONS DUE ON TIME(OR AT ALL)…,DRIVES ME CRAZY!!! MY FATHER DIED STILL WAITING TO BE PAID HIS PENSION…

  10. larz

    November 26, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    There is nothing to be done with the old generation. Really, they are stuck in a system that just doesn’t favour them. I hope the generation after them 50+ are smarter in their financial planning work. I really pray so. I believe children should continue to help and support their elderly ones.

    Having said that, we love to abuse good things in our culture. Caring for the elderly means they have a roof over their head and food in their pocket. However, there is a new generation of owambe retired parents that are forcing their children to come build houses for them, buying them latest cars, give them money so they can attend weekly owambe. It is disgraceful. If your child doesn’t own his home and you force them to buy a house for you, there is a special place for you when you die and it rhymes with bell. If you force your children to buy you latest iphone/ ipad and he is still carrying Iphone 4, then God is seeing you. The sense of entitlement most parents have is baffling. You will see young working parents in their 50s start nagging their children so won ma je un omo. I am like, isn’t it better for your 20+/ 30+ pikin to hustle with whatever extra disposable income their have so can set up an awesome venture that will reap enough rewards in their later years not only take care of their family but of you and their inlaws?

  11. Sharon Bisson

    January 29, 2016 at 11:39 am

    At older age,Most of the senior people get depressed.There can be many reasons behind their depression.They need extra care attention which they get from their family members .In addition to that they keep doing the activities in which they are least interested,Hence It increases their frustration level and make them feel anxious and depressed.In such cases,It gets difficult for us to cope up with them.But a little understanding can help them to feel better.Family members have to contribute a lot to take care of their seniors.You may know more about senior care at royalcare.net .

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