Social welfare concerns raised


THE Bougainville Catholic Diocese Family Life Apostolate is concerned about the social and spiritual welfare of the old and sick people saying that they were dying without proper care and support from their families.
The concern was raised by Bougainville Catholic Family Life Apostolate coordinator Alina Longa.
She said there had been a rise in social problems in Bougainville in the last 40 years that affected family life and one issue was the care and support of elderly people.
She said more elderly people particularly in the 66-90 years age group were dying in lonely isolated places without proper care and support.
According to the Family Life Office, some of the main causes of the social negligence of elderly people were a lack of commitment to prayer, loss of Christian faith and people’s tendency to seek material wealth and have less time for their families.
Longa also said some elderly and sick parents died neglected because families stayed away due to work commitments without anyone at home to look after them.
“This is injustice as these aging people deserve the right to be cared for. In the past there were a lot of people surviving up to the age of 90 unlike today,” she said.
Longa said figures in Bougainville on elderly people showed that very few parents were reaching the age of 90.
“Our concern is old people from age 66 and upwards. Many are without access to proper housing, basic health care and food. This is the main cause of their illness and death.”

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