Saint Lucia To Launch ‘Adopt an Older Person’ Initiative – St. Lucia Times News

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A new programme aimed at fostering greater awareness of the needs and issues impacting the lives of vulnerable older persons through conversation, consultation and experience sharing is set to begin here shortly.

The programme, dubbed ‘Adopt an Older Person’, will seek to rekindle nationalcommitment to improving the plight of the nation’s vulnerable older population and toencourage cooperation and team-work among people at all levels within society.

Being spearheaded by the Elder Care Unit of the Division of Human Services, under theauspices of Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment, the programme willsolicit the active involvement of individuals, families and community groups/organizations, getting them to reengage with seniors in meaningful and imaginative ways.

Senior Field Social Worker in the Elder Care Unit of the Division of Human ServicesFadia Andrew, notes that “the idea is for individuals and groups to adopt a senior citizenas a one-off gesture or through repeated gestures demonstrated throughout the lengthof the programme.”

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According to Andrew, individuals and groups can make a gesture of goodwill to anidentified vulnerable older person within their respective communities, with no limit onthe size or nature of the gestures to be shared.

The interactive engagements Andrew notes, “will not only imbue a sense of pride andaccomplishment in members of the public who enroll in the programme to adopt seniors, but will also help in empowering older persons, allowing them to make meaningful contributions that enrich lives, provoke feelings of goodwill, recognition, appreciation and improve their overall wellbeing.

The Ministry of Equity admonishes that ‘we cannot help everyone but everyone can helpsomeone.’

The Ministry reminds the citizenry that small cumulative efforts can have tremendous results. Community groups are particularly encouraged to assume personal responsibility for creating a better reality for older persons by making small, meaningful and creative gestures towards these individuals who exist in their midst.

Registration for the Adopt an Older Person programme commences October 1, 2022.As part of the process individuals and groups must: Identify a vulnerable older person; Identify the urgent needs of the individual; Contact the Division of Human Services viatelephone numbers (468 6570/ 6572/ 6573/ 6574) to register.

Alternatively, you can contact your Social Transformation Officer or your Welfare Officer; Implement the gesture/gestures and Provide feedback to the Elder Care Unit on the experience.

In Saint Lucia, like in other parts of the world, although older persons continue tocontribute meaningfully to economic, political, civil, social and cultural development,their contributions remain largely invisible and is oftentimes disregarded.

Statistical data show that during the next ten years, the number of older persons in theCaribbean will double. This ageing of the population has important implications forpublic policy in areas such as pensions, health, and social care services.

SOURCE: Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment

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