The Dominica Council on Ageing is pushing for Dominica to tap into senior citizens as a source of under-utilised resources.
This call comes on the occasion of the council’s nineteenth anniversary, themed, ‘Ageing: A Fountain of National Human Resource Capacity.’
On Friday, the organisation held its Eighteenth Annual General Meeting at the Fort Young Hotel under the patronage of Dominica’s President, His Excellency Eliud Williams.
Prime Minister of Dominica, Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit was represented by his special advisor, Edward Lambert who expressed the sentiments of the nation’s leader in commending the body for its remarkable achievements.
“Voluntary organisations have had a mixed history in Dominica and your continuous survival for eighteen years is deserving of commendation. Such an achievement is testimony to the fact that the Council on Ageing is responding to a real need and that you have a constituency that is sizeable, influential and committed to your mission and vision as stated in your founding documents,” he remarked.
It is a little known fact that many societies including Dominica’s can be considered ageing populations. As reported by Acting President of the Dominica Council on Ageing, Zetma Toussaint, statistics show that the percentage of persons sixty years and over continue to increase rapidly.
“This fact bears many implications for the country since resources must be obtained if older persons are to age healthily and gracefully. Families are being called upon to take up their responsibilities in caring for their elders,” she hinted.
She appealed, therefore, to the youth of the nation to adequately prepare for their senior years.
Toussaint indicated, “Government cannot provide all necessary resources both human and financial to meet the growing needs of our elderly population. It behoves the younger generation to take stock of their lives and prepare for the golden years so as to ensure that when the time comes they will be able to provide for their own care and sustenance.”
Dorothy Leevy, a past board member and active affiliate of the Council was the featured speaker at the event.
In her address, Mrs. Leevy highlighted the practical ways through which senior citizens demonstrate their value.
She considers older persons as “a sort of store house of memories and experiences which will be beneficial to the nation so that collectively the ageing population becomes a fountain overflowing with knowledge from which the nation can draw inspiration as well as information.”
Leevy, in her address also highlighted recent reports that there were currently 24 centenarians on the island and three more expected with the next few months.
The event also served as a platform to recognise a sterling example of healthy ageing in the person of Frederick Williams of Colihaut.
Frederick, who was born on 1912, was presented with a hamper compliments the Council on Ageing.