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Jamaicans urged to care for senior citizens

Wednesday, December 18, 2013    

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LABOUR and Social Security Minister Derrick Kellier has made a call for Jamaicans to show greater care for the country's senior citizens.

The minister, who was speaking at a Christmas fair held last week at the Golden Age Home in Kingston, stated that the society will be judged by how it treats its elderly.

He said the fact that persons may have to reside at facilities such as the Golden Age Home when they get older, "does not mean that they are any less human than the rest of us, and we have to understand that we have to be a caring society".

Minister Kellier noted that the protection of the most vulnerable in the society, including seniors, was a vital part of Vision 2030: The National Development Plan, and that the Government remained committed to ensuring their well-being through various initiatives.

The minister, in the meantime, said he was very happy to see the level of care being provided to the residents of the home. "What takes place here is active aging. People age, but they are still active," he said.

He praised the staff for their passion, professionalism and dedication. "It is reassuring to know that we can count on them," he stated.

Minister Kellier also commended their plans for the long-term development of the facility, and pledged to work towards the realisation of those goals, which includes the development of a major health and wellness centre.

"We are lifting the Golden Age Home to a level so that it becomes a beacon of hope to many more across the Caribbean and the world," he stated.

The residents of the home were treated to a hearty meal, gifts, and entertainment by staff and performing artistes, while representatives of several corporate entities were on hand to bring cheer to the seniors.

The Golden Age Home, located in Vineyard Town, is a key element in the Safety Net Strategy devised by the Ministry to protect the most vulnerable in the society.

More than 453 residents are housed at the home, which the ministry said is the largest facility of its kind in the Caribbean.

Minister of Labour and Social Security Derrick Kellier (right) greets resident of the Golden Age Home Tanny Johnson (left), while attending a Christmas fair last week at the facility located in Vineyard Town, Kingston. Looking on is chairman of the home, Fabian Brown.

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