Month Of Older Persons Launched With A Church Service
Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 1st , 2020 : The month of older persons in St. Kitts and Nevis was launched on International Day of Older Persons on October 1st, with a service at the Antioch Baptist Church.
The service was attended by older persons, care givers, social workers and ministry officials, including Minister of Social Development Hon Eugene Hamilton who addressed the gathering.
He spoke of the significance of the theme governing International Day of Older Persons 2020.
“Today marks the 30th Anniversary of International Day of Older Persons designated to acknowledge the elderly and to increase awareness of their impact on our society. This year International Day is being celebrated under the theme ‘Pandemics: Do they change how we address age and aging?’ The world’s population has changed significantly in recent decades and it is believed that it will continue to change, to increase over the next few years.”
He said his ministry is working on a draft policy on aging, to present to cabinet shortly.
“At the national level, I am pleased to announce that this year marks the 20th anniversary that the department of community affairs and social services in St. Kitts has been providing elderly care in our country. The draft national policy on aging which my ministry will shortly present to cabinet is intended to ensure that older persons continue to be included in society and are never left behind through the creation of a society for all ages whereby older persons can live an active, independent, integrated and dignified life free from violence, free from neglect and in an environment where our human rights are fully respected.”
Minister Hamilton also encouraged younger persons to take care of the federation’s older persons.
“This is the season when we must be prepared to demonstrate our appreciation for their contribution to the growth and sustainability of the society that we now cherish. We therefore, young people, cannot fail the elderly now; you cannot sideline them now; you cannot place them as if they were out to pasture and just think about enjoying yourselves and don’t care. This is the time for us to demonstrate to the elderly that we love them, we cherish them, we value the contributions they have made to strengthen and grow the economy we all enjoy today.”
In the past the Department of Community Affairs and Social Services planned activities to engage the federation’s older persons. Due to the covid19 pandemic, the department has been forced to scale back events.
In St. Kitts and Nevis an elderly person is identified as someone who is 62 years or older.