Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 1, 2021 (SKNIS): The Department of Community Development and Social Services established a Seniors Enrichment Programme to further develop elderly care services within the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Community Development Officer, Haniff Charles, said during the radio and television show ‘Working for You’ on March 31 that “The Senior Enrichment Programme brings some formality to what we do in terms of eldercare. There is already the residential care service that most persons are familiar with through the Saddlers home.”
“There is also the geriatric care that we provide for our home care officers and I am certain that many people are familiar with seeing the persons out there in their pretty scrubs and their colourful uniform going out to the older persons who need the care,” said Mr. Charles.
He added that “This Seniors Enrichment Programme formalizes our community outreach to them, and we wanted to ensure that while we are doing so, we tackle our main objectives and the ministerial mission.”
He stated as well that “Just last year we decided that there are five critical areas of intervention that we need to focus on so whatever our programmes are, we need to ensure that it fits within one of these areas.”
These areas are physical health and well-being, social and entertainment, lifelong learning, and skills development, religious and spiritual, advocacy and awareness.
Activities that will fall under the physical health and well-being programme will include a health walk, informative sessions clinics at the health centres and even foot care sessions with the health officers.
Under social and entertainment, “We try to ensure that we do activities that the elderly will enjoy, so karaoke, concerts, arts and craft, cooking and baking,” said Mr. Charles.
He added that the reason for lifelong learning and skills development is that “It is our belief that learning never ceases and you’ll never stop learning no matter the age … even at that age between 62 and beyond, you can learn.”
With the religious and spiritual aspect, “Of course we try to keep our seniors in tune with their spirituality, this would form part of counselling, words of encouragement and of course what they look forward to the most, our church services,” said Mr. Charles.
He also added that “Through this particular focus, we are able to highlight issues that are affecting older persons and not only bring out the negatives but bring out the positives in terms of educating persons on the reality that you will get old.”