Prime Minister of St Kitts & Nevis, Dr Terrance Drew, has welcomed the launching of the Seniors’ Day Programme, mentioning that it will be helping in improving as well as enriching the lives of the retired participants.
During the launch ceremony on Monday at the Newtown Community Centre, PM Drew recalled his years at the University in Cuba, where he has seen the centres for seniors to visit and gain computer skills, learning knitting, and other skills that they did not know. Executing a similar programme here was deemed required, as persons are living longer, as well as outside of the church, are left without any organized activities to take part in.
PM Drew mentioned that, “Result of not having meaningful activities, your blood pressure rises more than it should, and your diabetes goes up more than it should. Sometimes you are home, and your TV is in front of you, and you do not have anyone to sit and speak to. Therefore the idea is to create this kind of daycare so that you could come out, come to community centre, having a programme set out for you so that you could continue with a life of meaning and worth.”
Social security of senior citizens is one of the key principles of the agenda of the government. In fact, the formation of the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Ageing & Disabilities this year has shown the intention to put greater focus on these special groups in the society.
While noting that at times it may be financially challenging for the senior citizens to buy medicines and special types of food, PM Drew said that, “We are believing that we should look after our elders in our communities. That is the objective. That is why when we did the PAP (Poverty Alleviation Programme), we ensure that you can get access to it well as a lot of you retire and you get a very amount from social security.”