NIA to roll out more programmes for island’s seniors

Junior Minister responsible for the care of seniors on Nevis Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams (file photo)
Junior Minister responsible for the care of seniors on Nevis Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams (file photo)

(NIA) CHARLESTOWN NEVIS –The Ministry of Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) under its Senior’s Division plans to roll our more new initiatives for the island’s seniors weeks after the Free Utilities programme was launched for seniors 65 and older.

Word of the new programmes came on November 04, 2013, when Junior Minister responsible for Social Development Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams was a guest on Nevis Television’s Inside Government, a programme designed to highlight the work of Ministers in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA).

“There are a number of new programmes that we are hoping to launch in the Seniors Division and one such programme will be the Seniors Day Care. What we envisage for this programme is that we are hoping that seniors could come to a community centre to be assigned and spend the day.

“They will be engaged in a number of activities and programmes. We are looking at programmes such as arts and craft, card games, board games and talks on healthy lifestyles. They can have their blood pressure and blood sugar checked and we are also exploring the possibility of having them learn new things such as ballroom dancing and cakewalk dancing,” she said.

According to Mrs. Brandy-Williams, there were 14 Care givers and they would be charged with the care of the seniors who attend the day care facility.

“We have a number of caregivers, 14 in totality and so what we will do is to have those caregivers for that particular day, employed at the centre so that they can provide that needed care for them throughout the course of the day,” she said.

Members of the public would be required to drop off their seniors to the day care centre at mornings on their way to work and pick them up at the end of the work day.

“What we are trying to achieve is that persons could drop off their seniors to this day care centre in the morning when they are going to work, leave them there all day and feel comfortable knowing that they are being taken care of.

“Then at the end of their work day they could pick them up and take them back home. In that way, their seniors would be exposed to a number of programmes and they also will have that integration with other seniors from across the island as well,” she said.

Junior Minister responsible for the care of seniors on Nevis Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams (extreme left) interacts with seniors at a picnic at Oualie Beach
Junior Minister responsible for the care of seniors on Nevis Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams (extreme left) interacts with seniors at a picnic at Oualie Beach

The Junior Minister explained that the first quarter of 2014 was earmarked for the implementation of the programme since the logistics were still being worked out.

“We are still fine tuning the logistics, which centre we are going to use, equip the centre for that programme and just mapping out the logistics of the programme,” she said.

Meantime, Mrs. Brandy-Williams disclosed that with some collaboration, massage therapy would be provided to house bound seniors or those who might have suffered from a stroke.

“What we realize happening is that when those persons would have left the hospital there is no follow-up care at home and so most persons, they are bed-ridden, they are housebound and they are not exposed to that after hospital care. So we are trying to put together a structured programme where these persons could go into the homes and give massage therapy and exercise lessons to these persons at least once per week,” she said.

The Junior Minister used the opportunity to urge the seniors on Nevis to take advantage of the programmes that were planned for them by the NIA. She also gave a special invitation to the island’s senior men.

“I would like invite as many senior’s as possible to take advantage of the programmes that have been planned for them. I think I want to encourage the children, if you have your seniors at home, encourage them to come on out, whichever weekday whichever parish they are in, to join the seniors at the community centres. The programmes are set for you and I think you should take advantage of them.

“I would like to give a call to the men, we have a number of women who attend the seniors programme but not enough men and … if we are going to introduce the ballroom dancing and the cakewalk dancing, these must be done with partners and so I would like to see more men coming out and joining the seniors so that they too can take part in these ballroom dancing and cakewalk dancing activities. All in all the programmes are designed for seniors and I am encouraging as many persons as possible to come on out and take advantage of these programmes,” she said.

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