Challenges of ageism can vary in severity which comes with many difficulties. The loss of independence is one significant part of the aging process including physical, emotional, intellectual, social and even financial changes.
The greater majority of old people are, therefore, dependent on their children, relatives and friends for survival. And such dependence manifested itself when I was traveling to Kumasi some years ago. An old woman asked whether we had gotten to Ejisu, and she was told the bus passed there about 10 minutes ago. She started wailing and throwing herself about, pleading for the bus driver to send her back to Ejisu.
It was a heartbreaking scene, and since we had travelled just about two kilometres from Ejisu, myself and all the other passengers appealed to the driver to heed to the concerns of the old woman. And he agreed. The driver made a U-turn towards Ejisu, and the old woman thanked him and the passengers profusely for that kind gesture. She was visibly elated.
The bus got back to Ejisu and the driver stopped the vehicle for the old woman to get down. Interestingly, she pulled a black polytene bag from her handbag, popped out some tablets and swallowed them with some water. She then asked the driver to return to Kumasi! Everybody was shocked. We couldn’t come to terms with the elderly woman’s behaviour.
However, we got to know later that she was on medication and needed to take her second set of drugs in four hours’ time. Since she was an illiterate and unable to read the time, her daughter who was taking care of her had guessed that it will take the bus approximately four hours to get to Ejisu, and that was the reason why she asked her mother to take her medication when she gets to Ejisu which brought this whole trouble that inconvenienced the passengers on board the bus.
But come to think of it, when it comes to causing of inconvenience and being irritating, the old woman whose story is told above is not alone. The Elephant has turned out to be worst. It’s gargantuan insatiable appetite is causing a lot of harm to the masses. Prices of goods and services are sprinting like Usain Bolt. The twin spectre of unemployment and poverty is staring us in the face. Erratic power supply popularly known as “dumsor” which others call Epilepsy Power Supply has gotten to its chronic stage. “Dumsor” is an Akan language which means “put off; put on.”
The Elephant’s campaign slogan of Four more to do more, seems to be translating into Four more to dum more.
Anthony Obeng Afrane