Officials Working To Help Youth Develop Positive Attitudes Toward Older Persons

Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 31, 2021 (SKNIS): Officials within the Department of Community Development and Social Services are focused on improving the negative attitudes that some young people have towards seniors.

On Wednesday’s (March 31, 2021) edition of the radio and television programme Working for You, Osslyn Ward-Harris, the director of the department, said that youth often are “impatient” when dealing with older people.

“We need to target that group and educate them on the importance of ensuring that older persons are treated in a most dignified way. That is extremely important and of concern to us as a department,” Mrs. Ward-Harris stated.

Haniff Charles, Community Development Officer, stated that some youth perceive that seniors have nothing to offer and cannot educate them as information can be readily accessed on the internet. He indicated that intergenerational mixing is one intervention strategy that the department is looking at to improve relations and perceptions. The strategy was suggested from a focus group that was held.

“When you sit down and you have that intergenerational mixing and you hear what they (seniors) are saying and you really get the idea, the gist of certain things, you have a greater appreciation for the knowledge that is being shared,” Mr. Charles stated.

Mrs. Ward- Harris recounted seeing a video on social media where a driver stopped to allow an older person to cross the road. After realizing that the senior was struggling to cross the road, the driver exited the vehicle and helped the senior to the other side.

“That is what we need to promote; these are things we need to inculcate and make people aware of,” she added.

Mrs Ward-Harris is a member of the Seniors Enrichment Programme, while Mr. Charles is the secretary. The programme is designed to ensure that seniors lead a dignified and purposeful life while ageing gracefully.

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