Older Persons Month Observed on G.B

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OLDER PERSONS MONTH – The month of October is being observed as Older Persons Month. Above members of the planning committee for Grand Bahama are pictured as they announced the activities planned for Grand Bahama. Left to right are: Mrs. Audrus Glinton, Mrs. Vanda Capron, Mrs. Patrice Johnson, Mrs. Lilian Quant-Forbes, Ms. Dorothea Gomez and Ms. Opal Albury. BIS Photo by Vandyke Hepburn

By Simon Lewis

FREEPORT, G.B, – The Department of Social Services on Grand Bahama announced several activities in recognition of Older Persons Month, which has as its theme: “Addressing the Challenges and Opportunities of Aging: Empowering Older Persons.”

Assistant Director at the Ministry of Social Service, Mrs. Lilian Quant Forbes pointed to recent UN statistics cited by the Honourable Loretta R. Turner, Minister of State for Social Development, which indicate that persons sixty and over are the fastest growing population in the world.

Mrs. Turner also pointed out that experts, policy makers, economists and healthcare providers are conjecturing broadly about how this demographic wave would affect our society.

Quoting the Minister’s recent remarks on Older Person’s Month, Mrs. Forbes said, “Underlying these opinions is the fact that senior citizens deserves the best quality of life our nation can afford because we reap the benefits of their continued contribution,”

She also pointed out that the value on the security and dignity of older persons is promoted in the international theme for Older Persons’ Month.

According to Assistant Director the objectives for this year’s activities are:

1. To make the public aware of the challenge and opportunities individuals experience during the aging process;
2. To encourage the full enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights of older persons and the elimination of all forms of violence and discrimination; and
3. To recognize and applaud the contributions made by older persons.

Senior Welfare Officer at the Department of Social Services in Grand Bahama, Ms. Dorothea Gomez outlined a number of exciting events in celebration of Older Persons Month on Grand Bahama.

The activities will begin on Friday, October 5th 2007 with a Mass at the Pro-Cathedral of Christ the King Anglican Church beginning at 9:30a.m.

Following the Mass, the gathering will move to the Foster B. Pestaina Centre where the elderly persons will be entertained with a cultural show featuring Opie and The Boys, the Quadrille Dancers, and George and The Boys.

During the week of October 8th – 11th with the assistance of the various media houses, the Committee has planned a series of profiles on Senior Citizens Homes in Grand Bahama. The objective there is to bring public awareness to the existence of these homes.

On Wednesday, October 17th the Committee has planned a Submarine Ride and Movie Day for the senior citizens.

On Friday, 19th October a Gerontology Clinic with take place at the Eight Mile Rock Clinic where the elderly would be educated on health and hygiene and self-defense. On Thursday, 25th October that same programme will be duplicated in High Rock.

Ms. Gomez also confirmed that a high point of the month long celebration will be a Forum and Health Fair that is being sponsored in conjunction with the National Insurance Board.

The Fair, schedule for October 30th 2007 will take place at the Foster B. Pestiana Centre and is designed to educate older persons concerning health, finance, nutrition and legal affairs.