Watching out for the seniors

| 08/10/2008

(CNS): Head of the Department of Child and Family Services Deanna Look Loy has urged the community to follow UN principles in the treatment of older persons and watch out for their well-being. “We have to ensure that we treat our elderly with dignity, keep them free from exploitation, and promote their physical and mental health,” she said at the Older Persons Wellness Fair recently.

The fair focused on the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of Cayman’s senior citizens when around 80 of Cayman’s older residents went along to receive tips on improving spiritual wellness, nutrition and managing medicines.  Held at the Family Life Centre, the fair was part of October’s Older Persons Month, being celebrated under the theme: United Nations (UN) Principles for Older Persons: Independence, Participation, Care, Self-Fulfilment and Dignity.

Look Loy also encouraged senior residents to remain active in society, noting that such participation contributed to improvements in their physical and mental condition.  “Don’t limit yourselves; get involved in formulating government policies and join local movements and association” she added.

She said that the ministry has adopted policies to benefit older persons, including funding residential facilities.  Two of these, one in North Side and the other in East End, are scheduled to come on stream in the near future. Older Persons Month Chairperson Dawn Rankine said the event allowed seniors to gather and discuss common health issues and other concerns that affected their well-being. It was also a chance for seniors, many of whom had not seen each other for sometime, to interact. Rankine added that the lack of good health impacts older persons’ rights to independence, dignity and self-fulfilment. “When seniors are unwell, their mobility can be impaired and they’re unable to assert their independence and take care of their business,” she said.

Senior Janilee Clifford an 80-year-old Gloria Ebanks said they she felt that the fair was beneficial and important to older people.  “It helped boost our confidence and sense of self-worth by guiding us towards focusing on our physical and spiritual state. It has been a great day,” they said.

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