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“Adding Life to Years”: Age Friendly Societies.



Have you ever thought of a community that is “age friendly”? That welcomes and feels the plight of the aging? That provides for them? That love and cares for them? If you haven’t then you need to give it a thought.

From subjective experiences, a majority of the aged are usually treated with contempt, neglected, and left to suffer and die in their plight. Many reasons account for such maltreatment ranging from certain myths of witchcraft especially among the rural populations in Cameroon and Africa at large. Other people may regard them as invalid or useless, not being capable to contributing even a quota to the welfare of their families and the communities in which they are resident.

Mindsets ought to be reorienting towards the aged. They may be old and invalid, having little or nothing to contribute to the development of the society, but at least we can take a flashback through their legacies and reflect on their youthful days, how they were once strong and active, when the economy was booming based on their “man-power”. Ooohhhh… those good old days, now are fairy tales told to the younger generation; to those who are ready to give a listening ear and make out wisdom from these stories.

These old people may have nothing to contribute, but their wisdom and experiences meet no match. Take it or leave it, they’re 100 percent excellent in wisdom “what an old man sees seated, a boy can’t see even after climbing the tallest tree”, as per a local adage. In essence, let’s make meaning from their conditions and make our communities worth living. Inherently, we will be making life comfortable for all.

How then do we go about making life comfortable for the aged? Five ways to begin with;
1. Acceptance
2. Love
3. Care
4. Assistance
5. Prayers

If we apply the aforementioned, no matter our financial situations or social status, we will be “adding life to years”. The end results will be; happiness, peace of mind, sense of belonging, and improved self-esteem that complies with human dignity. Life is worth living, if we make it comfortable for all, our younger generation will copy from us and the cycle will continue…!!!

Gerald AKAME
Social Contributor, BaretaNews

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