Grenada Observes the Month of the Elderly

Delma Thomas
Grenada joins the United Nations in observance of the International Day of Older Persons on October 1, 2013. Under the theme “Longevity: Shaping the Future”, the Ministry of Social Development and Housing has designated October as the “Month of the Elderly”.

On Tuesday, 1 October, Minister of Social Development and Housing, the Hon. Delma Thomas addressed the nation and declared the special month of activities open.

“The Ministry of Social Development has been partnering with other Ministries and Organizations to provide the climate and engender conditions that promote a healthy and longer living local population which will become the envy of our region and neighboring states,” Minister Thomas said.

“We are working to ensure that our elderly, who unfortunately, because of their advanced age and physical deterioration, cannot properly care for themselves, are cared for.”

Minister of Social Development, who is currently on an aggressive campaign to gain assistance from the Diaspora for the nation’s vulnerable elderly, says that the Government sees the nation’s senior citizens as the corner stones of families and communities, and has placed them high on its agenda.

“The Government continues to meet the needs of the elderly population through the provision of services such as the Public Assistance Programme, Water Assistance Programme, Housing Programme, Drug Assistance Programme and Burial Assistance,” Minister Thomas said.

In recognition to senior citizens across Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, a series of activities has been planned by the Desk of the Elderly of the Ministry of Social Development and Housing to give special the very special category.

These activities include visits to Geriatric Homes and elderly persons within various communities in each parish, media appearances, and activities by schools across the island among others.

“We’re hoping that we will get the participation of everyone,” Nurse Janet Sylvester, Coordinator of the Desk of the Elderly said.

“We’re trying to raise the awareness of our elderly, we’re trying to get them to take part in the activities that are planned and to make them know that we love and care for them and appreciate all the contributions that they have for us.”

According to Nurse Sylvester, one the objectives of the Month of the Elderly is to bridge the gap between the young and the old.

“We’re asking younger persons to care for our elderly not only for the month, but always. Love them, show them appreciation. They are the ones who built the first roads and first schools and they have a lot to share with us. It is surprising how much we can learn from our elderly.” Nurse Sylvester said.

The general public is asked to stay tuned to the media for details on the month of activities.

GIS

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