Senior Citizens Are A Valuable Asset
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
March 03, 2011 (SKNIS)
The Social Assistance Unit of the Ministry of Community Affairs and Social Development is continuing the care of the elderly under the leadership of the new Supervisor for Social Development Mrs. Denise Byron-Morris.
Mrs. Byron-Morris who took up her new position in January is enthusiastically managing the care of persons in society who she describes as being “sometimes overlooked.” Trained in sociology, the new Supervisor of Social Development explained that it is very important to acknowledge the older residents because of the contribution that they made to the development of the Federation. She said it was important to do this not just during the month of the Elderly in October but throughout the year as well.
Supervisor Byron-Morris enthused that the new initiative in terms of acknowledging the elderly on their birthdays involves presenting cards to all elderly persons who are listed by her unit. She explained that this includes the clients of the Social Assistance Officers and the Home Care Officers as well as those who are capable of caring for themselves but need minimal assistance such as the payment of bills and the like. In addition, those persons on the list who are 90 and older will be presented with a gift basket and a visit from their parliamentary representative, as long as their schedule permits.
Mrs. Morris explained that since taking up her present position, several persons on the Social Assistance Unit’s list have celebrated birthdays in their ninth decade. In some cases their Parliamentary Representatives were on travelling duty and were unable to attend the brief presentations. Parliamentary Representative for Constituency #4 Honourable Glenn Phillip attended the presentation to Mr. Isaac Lewis of Half Way Tree who celebrated his 93rd birthday.
Supervisor Morris also noted that work is continuing on the Aging Policy for St. Kitts and Nevis which she said has the best interests of the Federation’s senior citizens at heart. It is expected to create a comprehensive long-term approach to ageing and ensure an acceptable standard of living for the older population. It is also aimed at increasing their access to information and resources to enable them to overcome barriers to successful aging considering that the elderly are living healthier and more active lives. The policy should also encourage the tapping of knowledge and experiences of older persons through the promotion of their continued participation in society and the community.