Some stakeholders of an NGO, Charity Organisation for the Welfare of Aged People (COWAP), have called on private and public sectors to adopt strategies to improve the health of the elderly in the country.

They told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Friday that the elderly could live longer if they were encouraged to exercise and educated on how to manage their health.

Mrs Esther Kelechi-Njoku, a Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) Commandant from the Church of Presentation Detachment, called for continuous education and awareness on proper health management.

“We should have more lectures; make a 20 to 30 minutes lecture on how to care for themselves at this age.

“They should be encouraged on how to eat healthy and once in a while, they should be educated on the kinds of ailments the elderly suffer.

“They should be educated on the management and feeding for people with different ailments; some of them are diabetic, they should advise them how to live,” Kelechi-Njoku said.

Mr Darlington Ajitemisan, a former Chaplain with the Nigerian Correctional Services, identified physical exercise as a major strategy to ensure that the elderly stayed healthy.

“When the elderly exercise, there’s a flexibility of the ligament and it helps every part of the organs; sickness is reduced.

“It’s also important to talk about food. When exercising and you don’t talk about it, it’s minus zero.

“We tell them to avoid cholesterol, to avoid foods and drinks that are sugary and drink a lot of water,” he said.

Mr Esan Olushola, Founder of COWAP, said: “The organisation plans to adopt new strategies to ensure that the elderly have access to information and care.

“We will get more youths, train them on how to care for senior citizens and place them in different locations as our representatives.

“We’ll reach them through their churches, mosques, Short Message Service (SMS) and using the community leaders to educate them.”