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30.09.2005 Regional News

"Review retiring age from 60 to 65 years"

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Peki-Wudome, Sept. 30, GNA - Reverend Dr Seth Agidi, Principal of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Seminary at Peki, has called for a review of the current retirement age from 60 to 65 or 70 to reflect the changing demographic profile of the country.

He said too many strong and healthy people were living regular employment at 60 at the time when their skills and wisdom were needed to build the nation.

Rev Dr Agidi was speaking at a durbar of the aged at Peki-Wudome on Friday to mark World Day for the Aged, which falls on Saturday October 1.

The Day was organized under the aegis of the Shepherd's Centre of Ghana, a faith-based centre of the aged, operating in parts of the South-Dayi and Kpando Districts of the Volta Region. It was under the theme: "The Ageing Agenda of the Twenty First Century".

Rev Dr Agidi, who is the National Coordinator of Shepherd's Centre, said with the aged component of the national population projected at 25 per cent by the 2050, it was important for government and the society to adopt polices to tap their energies and skills "when there is still a lot of life in them".

He said the age-old extended family system that supported the aged in society had virtually crumbled and must be replaced by carefully thought out state policies on the aged. Rev Dr Agidi said the Church should complement families in the care for the aged.

He said the Churches should go beyond the periodic or monthly visits to the homes of their aged members to pray or administer to them the 'holy communion'.

Rev Dr Agidi expressed regret that the churches only remembered their aged members when it was time for raising funds but used those funds to improve only physical structures.

He recommend the setting up of centres of the aged in all communities where the aged could meet, fraternise and be screened for ailments associated with aging.

Rev Dr Agidi advised pensioners to stay active by working on community projects, engage in small businesses and voluntary work. The function, which was attended by about 500 aged from 12 Shepherd's Centres was heralded by a route march with placards some of which read "Retire But Not Rust", "What I am Now You Would Also Be One Day", and "Respect the Aged".

As part of the durbar a medical team from the Ho Municipal Hospital screened participants for diabetes and high blood pressure. Ms Delight Anumah, a Nursing Officer on the team told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that a number of those screened were either diabetic or had high blood pressures but were not aware of their conditions. Rotary Club of Accra presented six wheel chairs to the National Coordinating Committee of the Centre. 30 Sept. 05

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