by Jean Lowrie-Chin
Column published in Jamaica Observer 10 June 2019
|Presentation by CCRP representative Angela Foote|
on Centenarian's Day
Yes indeed, if you are lucky, you will be counted among the elderly one day, and so regardless of our age, it serves us well to be interested in the care and protection of the elderly. This digital age can dehumanize our relationships if we are not careful. So while it’s great that your Grandma is on Facebook, take the time to let her hear the voice that makes her heart soar – yours.
Your making time for your elders may very well be assuring your care in old age, as your children learn more from your example than from anything you tell them. Moreover, the stories that our elders have to share will keep your children grounded, understanding and valuing their heritage. Stories of sacrifices to ensure the well-being of their families will help children to appreciate the contribution made by elders to their own development.
The wisdom which comes with age is a treasure that we should encourage our children to respect. Our elders have braved many obstacles, experienced goodness as well as negativity in their encounters. Discussions with their elders will help children to navigate difficult circumstances at school and in the workplace.
The debate continues regarding who is a senior and who is an elder. I have been advised that you become a senior at 65 and an elder at 80. We should be careful of ageism however, as most seniors are as active as ever. We have been delighted to recommend our CCRP members for positions in various organisations, and to receive feedback that they are outstanding in their performance. Think about it, many over-sixties are up with the digital age, and have a wealth of experience. They are a boon to the workplace, while some like our CCRP Northeast Jamaica convenor Pixley Irons, run their own successful businesses.
Minister Robinson’s call
|Convenor of the CCRP Northeast Jamaica Chapter Pixley with|
Hon Shahine Robinson, Minister of Labour & Social Security
at the Launch of the Chapter on 7th June 2019.
CCRP had a good day last Friday when Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson launched our Northeast Jamaica Chapter. Our convenor Pixley Irons, immediate past president of the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce and President Vana Taylor hosted the event at their John McDowell Conference Centre.
Minister Robinson reminded us that her Ministry’s Green Paper, proposing a revised policy for the elderly, will have two public sessions in Mandeville and Kingston this month, and is urging the public to attend and participate in ensuring what she describes as “an all-embracing policy which will in a comprehensive way seek to address the issues affecting our seniors in a more effective and purposeful manner.
The Minister emphasised that persons over 60 who would like to benefit from the assistance of the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) should register with their parish offices. The NCSC assists in enrolling senior citizens in the National Health Fund, the Jamaica Drugs for the Elderly Programme and the Poverty Alleviation programme (PATH). She lauded the over 3,000 volunteers who assist the NCSC in their work and appealed for more, bearing in mind the help that must be offered to the 12,000 shut-ins who are registered with the NCSC.
In commenting on the scourge of elder abuse, she said “if these matters are not reported to the Police for action, then certainly they will continue to take place … What in effect we need is for the communities to be more vigilant and that instances of abuse are reported either to the Council or to the Police.”
In congratulating CCRP on the launch of the newest Chapter, the Minister said that it “speaks to your desire to enhance your membership and to offer the services to a wider cross section of Jamaicans … the Government recognizes the worth of organisations such as this in mobilizing support and creating assistance for such persons. There is no political regime that can ever fulfill all the needs of everyone.”
|CCRP Northeast Jamaica planning meeting (l-r) Pixley Irons,|
Jean Lowrie-Chin, Joan McDonald, Chyna Whyne,
Earl-Robb-Brown and Denyse Perkins.
The minister noted that Jamaica was seeing an increasing number of centenarians, which her ministry lauded in an advertisement on Centenarians Day, May 24, listing the 168 centenarians that they have on record. “Interestingly … in St Ann the Ministry celebrated with three centenarians, all living in the same household,” she said. We had read reports of the event in Content Gardens: Melvin and his wife Icilda Scott are 100 and 101 years old respectively. Icilda’s sister Evelyn Gibson celebrated her 104th birthday on May 23.
It was great to catch up with the good folks who packed the Centre for the meeting. Among them were St. Ann Chamber of Commerce Past President Jeanne Dixon, emcee Joan McDonald, Joyce Tweedie-McDowell, Denyse Perkins, Chyna Whyne, Lorna Davis,Earl Robb-Brown, Evelyn Sangster and Iva Walters,. The Northeast Jamaica Chapter will serve members in St. Ann, St. Mary and Portland and has a part-time desk courtesy of the St. Ann Chamber.