Elder care in Uganda

Elder Care

It does not exist or if it does exist, it is minuscule.

We have a country which does not plan for the young or the elderly.

Most countries plan for the young and the elderly.  We have retirement homes.  You do not have those in Uganda. Not that I am a big fan of retirement homes but at least there is an option.

What is even more shocking is the lands being taken away from our parents, grand parents and our other elders.

So how do we address this problem?

I think we can start to look inside of us.  Your parents raised you and paid for your education so if you have a descent job, return to them and look after them.

Then we have a huge group of youth who are unemployed.  Many are likely related to you and you now have a responsibility.  You cannot move into Kampala and enjoy life without looking at where you come from.

I have always told some friends that our parents and elders can live long as long as we care for them.  My formula for caring for them is MMM.  Medicine, Milk, Meat.  It might sound insane but the older they get, the more medicine they need.  Then they need protein.  We do not put enough protein into our diets so milk and meat helps.

You can try to pay for milk delivery for your parents and elders daily.  Then at least buy them meat once a week.  It will help their sight and hearing.

These things require a sacrifice on our part.  If you do not want to sacrifice a bit, then think that they will find no medicine in the hospitals and will not get any protein.  It is a matter of skipping some restaurant meals then you can care for them.

I have written about raising kids in the past but now I would like us to think very seriously about taking care of our parents, grand parents, uncles, aunties and all those people on our villages that helped to raise us.

A degree with a great job means nothing if you cannot take your spouse or children to your village and proudly show them your relatives.  Your spouse and children will want to know where they come from and insist on going there.  If you do not believe me on this, try me taking my husband from France and my first born to Bududa.  The kid was amazing.  She took off her shoes and went to play in the rain like the other kids.  My P1 teacher from Bududa (RIP Mrs. Masette) was proud that I had never forgotten home.  Then I look at some of you Ugandans who dare not return to your villages.

Martha Leah Nangalama

Moncton, Canada


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As usual, my opinions are mine and mine alone.


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