Saturday 24 October, 2020

Ministry to mark International Day of Older Persons

The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS) through the Division of Ageing has launched a series of activities to commemorate International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) 2020 on October 1.

This year’s theme is “Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing.” 

Some of the activities are geared towards the general public and will include an online challenge to commemorate the IDOP and the launch of the “HALO” YouTube Series.

For the online challenge, participants will be encouraged to post pictures to MSDFS’ social media pages depicting themselves performing the challenge using the promotional hashtags #HALO: “Honor, Appreciate & Love Older People” and #PICS: “Positive, Inspiring, Connections with Senior Citizens”.

On Thursday, people are encouraged to wear white and/or grey to acknowledge the contributions of the elderly, as well as the efforts of health workers and caregivers. 

Commenting on the proposed activities, Minister Donna Cox indicated that COVID-19 has seen an unprecedented shift to virtual interactions and transactions and given the uncertainty of when the pandemic will end, skills in information communication technology is crucial to adapting to the new normal.

“The impact on older adults is notable and this is why we are having these activities that encourage the use of technology by our older adults as well as promote intergenerational bonding.”

This year has seen the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected older persons across the globe and locally.

Several deaths related to the virus in T&T were among people over age 60. Older persons are also challenged by issues such as social isolation, loneliness, inadequate access to health care or social services, neglect or abuse in institutions and care facilities, increased poverty and unemployment, as well as heightened fear, anxiety and trauma as a result of the pandemic.

In the upcoming weeks, the Ministry intends to highlight these and many other issues and bring awareness to the contributions made by senior citizens to national development.

“The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services wishes to encourage all citizens to find various ways to assist or demonstrate concern for older persons as Trinidad and Tobago continues to navigate through this unprecedented period in the world’s history.”

Citizens are also reminded of the OPIC Help Desk which is established at the Ministry to report cases of Elder Abuse.  The toll-free number is 800-OPIC.

For further information, contact the Division of Ageing at 623-2608 ext 1405 and 1415.


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