IN PREPARATION FOR OLD AGE: I shudder when I see some situations - especially absentee fathers who are barely present for their children - and absentee mothers"

Parents, you the primary caregivers for your children. Build and invest in your children so that when you are old, apart from every other reason, they will take care of you. I have spoken to, and seen
so many children who are suffering from ‘parent-hurts’ and it’s not all of them that will take the high road and look after you in spite of everything. Some will take their pound of flesh when you become so old and feeble that you can’t lift a hand to help yourself. It’s not right, but it’s happening. I’ve seen really old people who should be catered for, still struggling to eke out a living. Not everyone is from a background where piles of money has been saved up for old age and we live in a country where there’s really no provision for the very old. The stories of pensioners in this nation is a case in point- we have all heard or seen how they line up and suffer to get stipends and so many haven’t even been paid those stipends in months. I don’t even want to go into the other dimension where some children have visited mediums and seers who disguise as men and women of God, and have been told that their aged parents are responsible for their misfortunes and based on that, abandon them. These stories abound and they are real.

I shudder when I see some situations - especially absentee fathers who are barely present for their children - and absentee mothers abound as well. Let’s face it, we will all grow old and dependent one day. While it is still morning, we need to prepare for that certain future because it will come. Take the pains to build your children; if you don’t have children, whoever said that the road to parenthood is only through the biological process? Adopt! Find young people to mentor and invest in- you would be building a bridge to your future. Building and investing does not necessarily mean money alone- although it also entails that, because as a parent you will also need money and other resources to provide basic needs and education - it also involves giving of your time, your hindsight and foresight- in a word, your experiences to build up a whole human being. Building is a daily process of laying one block on top of the other - it will take your time, your resources, and will require your patience. Getting something ready made is easy, but building requires a lot of work to see your efforts unfold.

When I see old people mistreated, it really pains me a lot. I would like comments on different ways that people can prepare for old age. Even if you have loads of investments and monies in the bank, a time would come that you will need help to even get to the bank to withdraw the money. I remember an old aunty, whose pension was paid into her account, but she could not go to the bank on her own- she became too old for that, and needed lots of assistance to be able to have access to her own money.

You may have domestic hands to assist, but we have heard a lot of stories of domestic hands gone rogue or even murdered the old people they were taking care of, in cold blood. I will never forget an imagery I saw in childhood- a relative’s mum had become blind and the carer that was employed to take care of her, was hitting her and the old woman was crying!
How do you prepare for an inevitable future- old age?

-Amb. Unyime Ivy-King