Why Neglected Elders Need Support Care, Homes

Tolulope Sogbesan during a recent outreach programme in Oke Ako community, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state.

A Special report on A Visit to Oke-Ako Community in Ogun State, Nigeria

In the heart of Ijebu Ode lies the vibrant community of Oke-Ako, where time seems to move at a slower pace, and the warmth of community spirit is palpable. In December 2022, I had the privilege of visiting this community, driven by a desire to assist and connect with the elderly, food items were given to the elderly. Little did I know that this journey would lead me to encounter a remarkable old blind man living alone, relying solely on the support of the local church and community. This encounter shed light on the dire need for elderly care facilities and inspired me to explore how we can all play our part in supporting those who are often overlooked.


The Encounter

As I stepped into Oke-Ako, I was greeted by an air of tranquility, the streets were lined with mud and few brick houses, each bearing the marks of the community that called this place home. Yet, I couldn’t help but notice a sense of neglect that hung in the air.

During my visit, I stumbled upon a small, weathered house tucked away in a corner. It was here that I found Mr. Adeoba (not real name), an elderly man who had lost his sight many years ago. Despite his blindness, he radiated resilience and a spirit that had weathered the storms of life.

Mr. Adeoba’s daily routine was a testament to his unwavering determination. He woke up with the first rays of sunlight, relying on his other senses to navigate through his abode. His solace came from the local church and community head, which provided him with occasional support and company.

The absence of a proper support system saddened me, and I couldn’t help but ponder the plight of countless elders in similar situations across the country.


The Need for Elderly People’s Homes

Mr. Adeoba’s circumstances shed light on a pressing issue that demands our attention—the lack of proper care facilities for the elderly.

As communities grow and modernise, the elderly ones are often left behind, facing loneliness, neglect, and financial difficulties. Many seniors find themselves living in isolation, without access to adequate healthcare or social support.

2. Elderly care homes provide a crucial solution to this problem. These institutions offer a safe and nurturing environment where the elderly can find companionship, medical attention, and emotional support. They create a sense of community, restoring dignity and respect to the lives of those who have contributed so much to society.

Playing Our Role in Supporting the Neglected

Addressing the challenges faced by neglected elders requires a collective effort from individuals, communities, and the government. Here are a few ways we can make a difference:


  1. Raising Awareness: Initiating conversations and raising awareness about the issues faced by neglected elderly people is crucial. By educating ourselves and others, we can help eradicate the stigma associated with aging and create a more empathetic society.
  2. Volunteering: Local communities can organise volunteer programs to provide companionship and practical assistance to elderly individuals. Simple acts of kindness, such as running errands, reading to them, or engaging in leisure activities, can brighten their day and alleviate their sense of isolation.

  3. Supporting Existing Organizations: Many nonprofits and religious institutions, like the local church in Oke-Ako, offer support to the elderly. We can contribute by donating time, resources, or funds to such organizations, ensuring they have the means to continue their valuable work.

  4. Advocating for Policy Changes: By advocating for policies that prioritize the needs of the elderly, we can bring about systemic change. This includes calling for establishing private elderly care facilities, funding of existing government owned elderly homes, improving access to healthcare, and promoting inclusive social welfare programs.


My visit to the Oke-Ako community was an eye-opening experience that revealed the challenges faced by neglected elderly individuals, exemplified by the story of Mr. Adeoba.

It is our collective responsibility to ensure that these vulnerable members of society receive the care, respect, and support they deserve. By raising awareness, volunteering, supporting organizations, and advocating for change, we can create a society that values and cherishes its elderly population. Let us unite to illuminate their lives and make a lasting impact on their well-being.

A big thank you goes out to all who supported through cash donations, food items, presence and prayers, thus, making it a successful visit.

Written by Tolulope Sogbesan, the Managing Director of Optim Care Solutions Limited

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