Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Katema implores families to care for the aged

Katema implores families to care for the aged
By Fridah Nkonde
Wed 23 Jan. 2013, 13:59 CAT

COMMUNITY development minister Joseph Katema says elderly people are a source of information and experience if society makes proper use of them. And Dr Katema says elderly people should not be viewed as a burden or enemies in society. In an interview yesterday, Dr Katema said Zambians needed to be educated on the importance of taking care of the aged in society.

"The elderly should not be viewed as a burden or an enemy in society. That is what is happening because when some people are having calamities in their families, they have to look at an elderly person in the neighbourhood to point a finger at to say, 'that is a witch'," he said.

Dr Katema said taking care of the aged should be the responsibility of families and communities.

"The best place where the elderly should be taken care of is the home environment, the family environment," he said.

Dr Katema said most families were unable to take care of the aged because they were incapacitated by the harsh economic and social conditions which were prevailing.

He said the government would empower families which were looking after people above the age of sixty.

"That is the reason why you will find that in all our social protection programmes, the social cash transfer, the food security pack, the public welfare assistance schemes, beneficiaries are those households keeping the aged. This is one of the strongest criteria which we consider for people to get food security packs and other things," he said.

Dr Katema said the government had formulated a policy on ageing which would be taken to Cabinet for tabling and publication.

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