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Establish adult day care to enhance care for the elderly – UNN Professor

Prof. Okoye highlighted the prevalent negative attitudes, stigmas, and assumptions about aging within the Nigerian social context

Elderly people [Credit: GlobalGiving]

Prof. Okoye, a renowned Social Work scholar, made this call during the university's 195th Inaugural Lecture titled "Aging PLC: A business where Everyone is a shareholder but not aware. Can Social Work Help?" delivered on Thursday, November 30, 2023, in Nsukka.

Addressing the audience, she emphasized the importance of adapting to changing world realities, asserting that Adult Day Care is crucial, similar to Children Day Care, in ensuring the well-being of the elderly.

"Some people may say Adult Day Care or Old People’s Homes is not part of our culture in this part of the world, but we must adapt to changing world realities," Prof. Okoye stated.

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Being the first professor in the Social Work Department to present an inaugural lecture at UNN, she urged Nigerians to support what she termed the "aging business," describing it as a limited liability company where every Nigerian, present and future, is a shareholder.

"Aging PLC is not a business where you have the option to be a shareholder or not; everyone is a shareholder. You start aging right from the day you were born," she explained.

Prof. Okoye, drawing on her PhD research findings, highlighted the prevalent negative attitudes, stigmas, and assumptions about aging within the Nigerian social context. She stated the need to change these perceptions, asserting that such attitudes contribute to a sense of burden and waiting for death among the elderly.

"We should all put smiles on the faces of old people as a way of giving them a sense of belonging and enabling them to live longer," she urged.

The professor called on the Social Work Department to take up the responsibility of sensitising and educating Nigerians on the importance of Adult Day Care for the elderly. She noted the role of students in the department in serving humanity by advocating for the establishment of such facilities.

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In expressing gratitude, Prof. Okoye extended her appreciation to her husband for his unwavering support. "My husband is the best husband in the world; if there is reincarnation, I will marry him in my next world," she affectionately declared.

The Vice-Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Charles Igwe, commended Prof. Okoye for her unique and important lecture.

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