Caregiving, a thriving sector that we are ignoring

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Accra, Aug. 11, GNA – Niek, a Dutch, was taking Adwoa, a Ghanaian, who was on a visit to the Netherlands, around his neighbourhood and pointed to a building that housed the aged.

Adwoa shrugged and Niek noticed it, since Niek had lived most of his productive life in Africa as a Tropical doctor, he knew how most Africans perceived aged homes, so he quickly added, “your country is developing and soon you will find the need for such establishment.”

Many years down the line, Adwoa, a Ghanaian living in Ghana is considering setting up what she wants to term “Care Giving Institute” to train especially the youth to take up careers as caregivers.

Adwoa, grew up in Ghana in a middle-income home. Growing up, her household always had live-in helpers who were not part of her biological family. Adwoa’s mother was a baker and her father worked with an international cooperation institution.

She had three siblings, however, at any point in time, there were two extra hands in their home. Those people usually stayed with the family for a minimum of two or three years and her family would then enroll them into an apprenticeship, such as hair dressing or dress making.

Male hands that stayed with them were also enrolled into carpentry or were supported to learn fitting (mechanics).

In Ghana, the norm was that a young lady expecting a child will usually move from her matrimonial home to her mother’s for support or your mother will move into your house to support her.

However, Adwoa’s mother died early and when she was ready to start a family, she was on her own.

It is becoming common in Ghana to start a family and not have anyone readily available to support the new family with child nurturing and housekeeping.

What was termed as househelps has taken on a new identity. Some call them Nannies, others call them house keepers and for families raising children with disability or special needs, they are called caregivers.

Not only that, there are families in Ghana now needing care for their aged, and so it is common to see people advertise on social media for care services for the aged and persons who are living with stroke and other conditions.

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