Categorized | National News

Older Persons Month Observances Underway

Local observances for International Older Persons Month began Monday with a church service at the Kemp Road Union Baptist Church in honour of the nation’s older population.

United Nations (UN) statistics recently revealed that the Caribbean’s population is aging and studies show that by 2050 the number of people age 60 or older will triple.
Addressing Monday’s service, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services Barbara Burrows said the Bahamas must begin preparing itself for what will soon be this country’s new landscape.
Mrs. Burrows said The Bahamas will need to evaluate its laws regarding the protection of the nation’s ‘precious pearls.’
“We will, however, need to explore best practices being utilised in meeting the needs of older persons,” she said.
“Some of our Latin American counterparts have already passed legislation as it relates to older persons. This is a matter that we may soon have to give consideration so as to protect our senior citizens.”
Mrs. Burrows said that the decline in family values has resulted in some segments of the population being marginalised, particularly, older persons and children.
“The challenge for the ministry of social services and the government is in raising the collective consciousness of the Bahamian people, to the plight and needs of our senior citizens,” she said.
The theme of International Older Persons Month is “Longevity: Shaping the Future,” and Mrs. Burrows noted that the country can only shape its future if it respects it past.
She encouraged more community awareness and education on the role of families in honouring, respecting and caring for parents and older members of the family.
“Let us be mindful that as we seek to address issues impacting older persons, we ensure that they are included in the process as well as the organisations that advocate on their behalf,” Mrs. Burrows said.
Other events planned for the month include a symposium on the exploitation of the elderly on October 4; a senior’s dance on October 11; an awards ceremony and the official opening of Demetrius Centre for Older Persons on October 29.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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