The United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) will today be celebrated across the globe on the theme “Digital Equity for all Ages.”
The day aimed at celebrating older folks for the significant roles they had played over the years and drum home the need for a policy and programmatic interventions towards raising awareness of their diverse needs.
At a press conference in Accra yesterday, the Director, Centre for Ageing Studies at the University of Ghana, Professor Mavis Dako-Gyeke said the theme for this year’s 31st Anniversary sought to affirm the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older persons.
She said it was also to highlight the need for a legally binding instrument on the rights of older persons and an intersectional person-centred human rights approach for a society for all ages.
Prof Dako-Gyeke said her outfit was committed to creating awareness through ageism and human rights by tackling stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination associated with digitalisation, taking into accounts socio-cultural norms and the rights to autonomy in order to enhance their human rights.
“Also to address public and private interests, in the areas of availability, connectivity, design, affordability, capacity building, infrastructure and innovation,” she added.
She maintained that, cybersecurity and ethics should be explored to ensure the legal framework, privacy and safety of older persons in the digital world.
A Lecturer at the Trinity Theological School, Reverend Samuel Ayete-Yampong said older persons should be given the needed care and attention.
He said younger folks played a significant role in ensuring older persons live a good life when they provide the economic and social support and improve on their digital life.
A Senior Lecturer at the Department of Social Work at the University of Ghana, DrAkosuaAgyemang said due to social change, younger persons had moved from the rural areas to urban communities making it difficult for older people (72 per cent) to cater for themselves in the rural areas.
She said when the social life of older persons was improved, they would be free from sickness and any form of depressions.
She urged younger people to add more of in-care to the usual phone call as a routine of checking up on them and advised more social gatherings for older people.
Dr Agyemang added that, the centre being the first ageing research centre in the region would continue to provide support for older persons through entertainment and other activities.
“The centre is ready to partner with Non-Governmental Organisations, health institutions, organisations and individuals to ensure older persons receive the needed support,” she stated.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR