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Grand Bahama To Host A Number Of Events For National Older Persons Month

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

FREEPORT – The Department of Social Services is observing National Older Persons Month with a number of activities and events that focus on senior citizens here in Grand Bahama.

Charlamae Fernander, a senior social worker, said this year’s theme is: ‘Digital Equity for All Ages.’

“Seniors are often left behind and this year we want to ensure that they are not, particularly in this digital environment that we are in,” she said. It has been extremely challenging when they do not have the means or knowledge to access the digital world.”

Ms Fernander said Social Services classify elderly citizens as a special group of clients. She said a Senior Citizen’s Division was created at the department to cater specifically to seniors.

“We tailor services specifically to meet the needs of older persons because…they have special needs,” she said.

In addition to the food assistance programme, Ms Fernander said they also provide a burial assistance programme. The Department also steps in and assists seniors with accessing services from other government agencies, such as the National Insurance Board and some private corporations.

Ms Fernander said the department also assists seniors with resolving any issues they face. “Many do not get proper care or have proper housing, and their needs are not being met. We may assume, that families look after the elderly loved one, but that is not always the case.”

She said this year they have planned a number of events to highlight older persons in the Grand Bahama community.

Mrs Brenamae Cooper, manager of the senior citizen's division, announced that Older Persons Month was launched on October 13 with a church service at Pro-Cathedral.

She said seniors at various residential care facilities attended the service.

Ms Cooper said that next week they will hold a virtual forum on October 21, titled Equity in the Digital World.

She stated that many seniors are not familiar with social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

“There is a need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by our older persons,” Ms Cooper said.

“During our digital forum we will be focusing on how seniors can better cope in the changing world of COVID-19 and the restrictions which have significantly impacted the older person population,” she explained.

Another area they will be focusing on is how to better prepare seniors for planning their final wishes.

An attorney speaking on how to prepare a will. In our culture, it seems to be taboo when we speak about death and planning for death. We want to assist and better equip our seniors on how they can make this aspect a little easier for their loved ones who are often left to deal with all planning and arrangements.”

She said seniors will also hear about the benefits at the National Insurance Board for older persons.

On October 28, Ms Cooper said there will be a Grand West to East Tour for seniors.

She said the tour will move from West End, Eight Mile Rock, Freeport, and onto East End.

“On the bus ride we will be singing and doing some story-telling, and giving away lots of treats. It will be a fun ride to McClean’s Town,” she said. Afterward, seniors will be hosted to a meal in Freeport.

Seniors who are interested are asked to contact the Department of Social Services.

Comments

stillwaters 3 months ago

Most of the covid deaths are still older people and you're going to fill a bus with senior citizens to go for a .....tour? Singing too.....in a closed bus......

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ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

well...they might need to rethink that part of it

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ThisIsOurs 3 months ago

I am truly impressed by the messaging so far from the Davis administration. This National Older persons months is fantastic. They should realize too that the age discrimination starts from age 40.... unless you know someone. Dr Minnis had a national policy of Age Discrimination

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