Some retirees in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have appealed to the Federal Government to establish specialised units in primary health care centres to cater to the needs of elderly

The retirees made the appeal in separate interviews with newsmen on Monday, in Abuja.

Baba Halilu, a retiree in his late 70s, decried the lack of specialised services for the elderly across the country’s hospitals.

Halilu noted that specialised geriatrics units would contribute greatly to the aged people’s care in hospitals.

He, therefore, said there was an urgent need for the Federal Government to set up such a unit across the country’s hospitals.

Mrs Mary Christopher, a retired school principal, said that health practitioners should be given unflinching support for the establishment of dedicated geriatrics units in all primary health care centres.

“This will help reduce the rate at which old people travel from state to state to seek medical attention,” Christopher said.

She also called for documentation and creation of a database that would aid the establishment of geriatrics units across the 36 states of the federation.

Another retiree, Mrs Ijeoma Ugboko, a nurse, said that geriatric units should be unique and equipped with facilities that would make them attractive to look like homes.

“The wards should be modified and be made more elder-friendly with lower and more attractive beds, brightly painted walls with pictures and paintings.

“They should have clutter-free corridors, living potted plants, attractive furnishing in the dining areas and television sets’’

Ugboko advised that patients should be admitted in wards that would have cognitive, functional and nutritional assessments done and documented.

“This is where specialised nursing care will be needed, a nurse that will be mindful of elders’ need for autonomy, dignity and personal comfort while attending to their medical, emotional, social and psychological needs during hospitalisation.

“Nursing care procedures should be patient-centred rather than disease or task centred,’’ she said.

According to her, inpatient rehabilitation should be available for the elderly who require physiotherapy or occupational therapy.

The retired nurse added that rehabilitation would be within the ward areas or in a room reserved for that purpose, rather than making the elderly go through so much stress.

She, however, appealed to the Federal Government to ensure the realisation of these suggestions to enable senior citizens who had dedicated their lives to the service of the country, have longer healthier lives.

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