By Chioma Ndife
A call has been made to the Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to set up an Old People’s Home to minimize the disquiet and friction in nuclear families.
Speaking to the media in Awka, a social welfare protagonist, Mr. Polycarp Onwubiko, said it had been observed that many nuclear families had been passing through psychological and emotional trauma emanating from how to take adequate care of their very sick and ageing parents.
Onwubiko noted that in the villages, many sick and ageing parents were lonely without house helps, with the result that due to stress in carrying out household chores, they had stroke and even died without anybody noticing until their corpses started to decompose.
‘In order to avert the problem, the children of some sick parents take them to live with them in the two or three bedroom flats, leading to severe inconveniences; even as some occupied a room and being very sickly, pass urine and defecate in the room to the discontent of the children and grand children,’ he said.
Onwubiko who observed what he described as a complex dilemma, suggested that state governments in Igbo speaking areas should establish Old People’s Homes in view of the fact that Igbo cultural values include taking adequate care of parents at old age.
He suggested that those who would send their sickly and ageing parents to the Old People’s Homes should be paying certain percentage of the running cost of their parents’ feeding and medicaments to complement government spending bankrolled into the annual budget.
Onwubiko noted that in developed countries, government had realized the harm being inflicted on the nuclear family in allowing sickly and ageing parents to live with their children in a compartment meant for a nuclear family and made it a categorical imperative to establish social welfare facilities like Old People’s Homes, while the children would be visiting them at their convenience.