Foundation marks 1st anniversary of day care centre for the aged

Canada based Nigerian social worker Mrs Nimota Raji-Gambari, has opened a day care centre to cater to the elderly in Akute, near Lagos State.

It was gathered  that the adult day care centre – Nimota Care Foundation – caters to the health and welfare needs of more than 40 elderly persons.

The  beneficiaries are people with diabetes and high blood pressure, two conditions that kill many elderly people.

Speaking at the first anniversary of the establishment of the day care centre in Lagos on Tuesday, Mrs Raji-Gambari, said it provided daily free meals and multivitamins for healthy lifestyles and well-being of beneficiaries.

She said the Foundation also provided free blood pressure monitoring, free blood sugar checks for diabetes; 30 minutes daily exercise for improved wellbeing and interactive games to boost beneficiaries’ memory.

According to her, the day programme, tagged “Move and Mingle’’ enables beneficiaries to move and relate with their peers in a conducive environment.

The Ontario, Canada-based social worker said that she established the Foundation to address the abandonment of the elderly which had often led to depression and anxiety.

She noted that although there was provision for the aged in Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution, there was little care for the elderly.

“I feel this is one of the social problems in Nigeria where the elderly are abandoned and not catered for, especially when compared with the way they are catered for in advanced countries.

“Nigeria has the resources; we are blessed with several resources, but they are not spent on these elderly people that had served the country.

“We also have to be mindful that these elderly individuals have retired and most of them have no income. The payment of pension to those who still get it is not regular,’’ she said.

Raji-Gambari said the centre, established on Sept. 1, 2021, has more than 40 aged people in attendance catered for by her employees and relatives.

She expressed the hope of expanding the facility to accommodate more intending elderly people on her waiting list.

“I want to ensure that the day programme expands because I have a long list of aged people waiting to benefit from the Foundation.

“Our activities have been smooth, but I want to expand and that is why am reaching out to the public.

“Right now, I am building a mosque, a church and an entertainment building for beneficiaries.

“In the future, I intend to open an Old Peoples Home so they can live there as a group and then when they pass on, the Foundation will cater to the burial,’’ she said.

Raji-Gambari said children and relations of the aged could also support the Foundation if they desired that their parents become part of it.

She said the Foundation was in need of financial and moral support to enable it to accommodate more elderly people.

She also solicited moral and financial assistance from government, from corporate bodies and from individual philanthropists to accommodate and care for more elderly people.

One of the beneficiaries, Elder Akanni Adelulola, expressed profound gratitude to the founder for the benefits and care derived.

Adelulola lauded the health care benefits which include regular blood pressure, blood sugar check-ups, adequate medication, free physiotherapy and daily free physical checks.

“We also get free daily lunch and there is a conducive forum for the elders to rub minds,’’ he said.

Another beneficiary, Mrs Silifat Olubiyi, urged government to be more sensitive to the plight of the elderly, create more homes for the aged and make health care 100 per cent free for them.

Also, Alhaji AbdulRafiu Akorede commended Nimota Care Foundation for the efforts in taking care of the elderly.

He called on other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the kind gesture and show compassion to the aged, noting that sooner the young would definitely become old.

In the last one month, there had been reports of some aged people who died in isolation out of neglect.

An infirm sexagenarian reportedly died in her lonely apartment in Bariga, Lagos on Sunday while the skeleton of another man was found in his Ibadan home earlier this month.

The last time neighbours saw him before his skeleton was discovered was in 2018. 

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