Foundation expresses concern over depression in senior citizens


Abuja, Dec. 18, 2022

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Axios Senior Citizens Foundation, an NGO, has called on the Federal Government to create a body that will manage senior citizens.

Abdulraqib Jegede, Axios Administrative Secretary, made the call on Saturday in Abuja at the official inauguration of the foundation’s “Seniors Citizens Club”, established to eliminate depression in elderly people.

Jegede, who spoke on the backdrop of depression the elderly people usually face after retirement, said the condition is developed as people retire from work and stay at home doing nothing, which may lead to early death.

He said “we are here today to officially launch one of our services which is Seniors Citizens Club, the club is a multifunctional, as we try to bring the elderly people to make new friends, interact and enjoy themselves.

“As you all know from 60 and above they use to be at home doing nothing and this leads to depression, but the essence of this club is to bring them together, make new friends, learn new skills.

“Last month, we did a medical outreach for these people, and that was when we got the information of some of them who are here today; we are reaching out to them with the club officially so that they can come together to socialise.

“We want to bring them back to the society instead of them staying at home doing nothing. With this foundation, they will be going out for excursion by visiting old school, taking them out to any of the secondary school or university here in Abuja.

“This is for them to see the difference between when they were young by seeing young generation, with this club they will be learning how to cook, they will also be having an exercise section every Saturday.

“These people will also be having a physiotherapy consultation once in a month,” he stressed.

When asked who is funding the foundation, including the medical outreaches it has been carrying out, Jegede said the foundation is a self funded organisation by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

He called on government, private organisations and capable individuals to assist the foundation “to be able to help elderly people and take them out of depression as well as bring them back to the society.”

According to him, people’s lives should not end just like that after retirement and that is what Axios is doing.

He, however, called for support in this direction.

Meanwhile, Mrs Jane Paul-Edeh, a Dietician/Nutritionist from Keffi Federal Medical Centre, took the senior citizens on a lecture on balanced diet and advised them to watch what they eat.

She told the senior citizens that their body could no longer perform the way it used to be during their young age, adding that “there is a reduced function in the work of the body organs in their present age.

“At this age of yours, you must reduce fat intake, you need to be a little bit active, eat foods that will neutralise things in your body.

“There is a problem with dieting in the country; our meals in the night are usually swallows, but before now, it wasn’t a problem.

“If we eat this before the sun goes down, it will not have much effect, but right now because of technology and westernisation, we eat at night even at 10 p.m, you will see people still swallowing evening meal not minding the time.”

She, therefore, called for a nutrition policy, saying it is necessary for government to regulate feeding system from age 60 and above, the critical age which body organs have already started

Peter Okafor
Peter Okafor
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