NIS gives Golden gifts to elderly 2004 – 2005
January 14, 2005
NIS gives Golden gifts to elderly 2004 – 2005

In an effort to improve the conditions and services towards the elderly population of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, The National Insurance Services in partnership with the Government have contributed towards the construction of two activity centres for senior citizens of this country. {{more}}

One centre is located at Cane Grove on the Leeward side of the country. The other is located at Black Point on the Windward side.

The National Insurance Services has identified the goals for these centres from the findings of a survey conducted by HelpAge International in 2001. These include:

• To improve the quality of life of the aged in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

• To provide nutritional meals for the aged

• To effectively utilize the skills of the retirees

Additionally, the following specific objectives were identified to ensure that the pensioners’ needs were taken care of:

• To reduce the incidence of loneliness/isolation among the aged

•To provide the aged with a facility for socialization and companionship

• To cater for the nutritional needs among the aged particularly those who are suffering from diseases such as hypertension and diabetes

• To assist the aged in learning how to effectively deal with their nutritional needs

• To teach the aged how to evaluate changes in their dietary and health status.

• To engage the services of retirees who are willing to share their skills with others of similar standing;

• To provide ancillary funding for the administration of the Golden Years Centre.

There are private institutions in the country that offer residential care for the aged but the prices are beyond the reach of the ordinary citizens. Additionally, most of these institutions offer permanent institutional care, but some persons do not need this type of care. They need instead, an institution where they can go in the day for socialization and recreation, and then return to their homes at nights. To fill this void, the National Insurance Services has taken the initiative to donate funds for the construction of these centres.

The facilities to be provided include a social activity room, an exercise room, a conference room, buffet area, kitchen, pantry, locker room, storage room, a patio and adequate space for outside recreational activities. There will be limited sleeping over facilities and this will provide an option for persons who may need alternative accommodation for their aged relatives.

A board of trustees has already been established to assume the primary responsibility for the centres.