Health Minister Wendy Phipps encourages the elderly to remain physically active

Basseterre, St. Kitts (September 23, 2019) — Minister of State with responsibility for Health, Community Development, Gender Affairs and Social Services, Senator the Hon Wendy Phipps, while thanking the elderly for the contribution they have made, has encouraged them to be physically active if they are to lead long lives.

Acknowledging that the country has experienced tremendous growth, Minister Phipps told them that “all of what we are able to celebrate after 36 years could not have happened without your contribution, individually or collectively, in big ways, in small ways – in ways that many of us do not even know, because some of us live by the principle of the Bible, you do not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing.”

Speaking on Independence Day, Thursday September 19, to a group of 87 seniors who had assembled at the Shadwell Great House for yoga moves and a brunch organised by the Department of Community Development and Social Services, Hon Phipps thanked a returning national Mr John Francis who partnered with the Department to show some love and appreciation to the seniors.

The seniors were put through yoga moves by a yoga/meditation instructor, Ms Mila Marshall from Chicago, USA. According to Minister Phipps, the yoga moves and stretches are useful as they help keep the seniors as fit as possible for as long as possible.

“We learnt a long time ago that a body in motion stays in motion but a body at rest stays at rest and when you stay at rest for too long, then you are ready to leave us and go somewhere else,” advised the Hon Phipps. “But for the time that we have we should treasure it and be grateful for the gift of life and the gift of health if we have it, come all Mighty God, knowing that this is only a temporary journey that we are on.”

Organiser of the event, Mr John Francis, said it was part of Earth Dance Festival of Peace, an international organisation contributed by 42 countries and St. Kitts and Nevis is one of the countries that had been nominated to be featured on the internet as a live event that was to take place of Saturday the 21st of September, which was United Nations’ Day for Peace.

“This event here at the Shadwell Great House is a yoga treat for the elders,” noted Mr Francis. “We felt it was important for elders to contribute in some way to the community and the event, and you know elders they need to be involved. We thought a yoga treat would be something that they can themselves get involved as an expression of movement and also benefit someway from that.”

Lunch was provided through the instrumentality of Dr Lisa Skerritt whose family owns the Shadwell Great House, and playing host to the seniors was Ms Rae-Dawne John, manager of the Great House. Present at the function included Mrs Osslyn Ward-Harris, the acting Director of Community Development and Social Services; Mrs Ann Wigley, the Deputy Director; and staff from the Department of Community Development and Social Services.

According to Mrs Wigley, over 110 seniors were treated to lunch on Heroes’ Day, Monday September 16 at two locations. One event was held at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Lodge in conjunction with the church, while the other event was held in partnership with the Rotary Club of Liamuiga at the Saddlers Home for the Elderly.

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