The 2020 general election campaigns have started in Ghana with lots of campaign promises flooding everywhere for almost everyone, except the elderly, who regrettably, seem to be completely forgotten by politicians and the media.
Its interesting to see how much attention is being paid to the needs of the youth and other groups in media discussions except that of the elderly – and this is very worrying considering the untold hardship they are experiencing in society.
Why is the care needs of the elderly not an issue in this year’s election? Where are the policies for older persons? And , why is no one talking about them?
The Ghanaian elderly deserve better. They deserve better social protection and better care after contributing so much of their adult life to the growth and development of this country over the years.
Yet, what do they get from society? neglect, constant abuse and human rights violations. Majority of them, particularly those in rural communities are facing very serious challenges including: neglect, domestic violence, violent attacks, isolation, poor medical care, hunger, personal hygiene issues and several others that should command our attention.
As I monitor commentary on the various manifesto promises by political parties, it’s clear none is prioritizing the needs of older persons. And to make matters worse, the media doesn’t seem to care much.
While the National Democratic congress (NDC) has made a few promises for the aged under social protection such as: provision of day care centers, welfare cards for easy access to social services, establishment of special exercise parks and recreational centers; as well as training of more health personnel in domiciliary care for the elderly; there is no focus whatsoever on any of these issues in the media.
As a society, we have to start focusing on how to improve the welfare of elderly persons in our communities since everyone is going to join this group if we don’t die early.
Its time we push politicians to prioritize the human rights and well being of older persons in Ghana starting from this years election – and, the media has a key role to play in achieving this goal.