Monday, September 16, 2013

Our seniors are miracle workers

CCRP honours centenarian Samuel Green
Centenarian Samuel Green receives a National Bakery Gift Basket from CCRP Jamaica member Verla Seymour
by Jean Lowrie-Chin | Jamaica Observer Column | 16 September 2013
AS we celebrate seniors during the coming week, let us reflect on these living miracles in our lives. These grandparents, mothers, fathers, aunts, district elders who planted crops, raised livestock, fetched water daily from the river and still managed to send us to good schools. They stretched their dollars to unimaginable proportions and were able to support many of us through tertiary education.
So now we may speak better English than them, and their weary faces and bodies are not as fit and attractive as ours. We may even begin to feel impatient with their slow gait and their fading memory. No wonder the good Lord made it a commandment to 'honour your father and your mother'.

NCSC Recycled Teenagers in Action
National Council for Senior Citizens 'Recycled Teens' in action!
We hear stories of the spoiled child who grows into a spoiled adult, becoming not a supporter of an aging parent, but rather an exploiter. There are too many stories of parents who, having educated their children and seen them into good jobs, are still being looked to for nanny service and, worse yet, regarded as human ATMs. The National Council for Senior Citizens have noted that adult working children have a legal responsibility to parents of post-retirement age. Perhaps we need to make examples of negligent offspring to protect our elderly.
Meanwhile, many small businesses in Jamaica are realising that senior employees are their strongest assets. At, we found an article which explained why hiring seniors is an excellent move. Here are some points:
Murleene Davis receives a prize from CCRP Hospitality Chair Dr Jean Small.  Jean graduated with a PhD in her seventies and still lectures part-time.
* They comprise a large part of the market: In Jamaica seniors are 11.03 per cent of the population and are projected to grow to 25 per cent by the year 2050, according to a recent study conducted by a team led by Professor Denise Eldemire-Shearer of the Mona Wellness and Ageing Centre. Seniors have a preference for being served by their peers.
* They are more in control of their time than those who still have to balance the role of parent.
* reminds us that: "Their work ethic is more evolved. Most know the value of a smile and a handshake in making and retaining customers. They have learned that their job is not guaranteed, and that taking care of a customer is far easier than finding a new job."
Mrs Sybil Francis
Legendary seniors advocate Mrs Sybil Francis receives the CCRP Living Legacy Award from Hon Aloun Assamba and and Prof. Denise Eldemire-Shearer
From my own experience, I have found senior employees to be great mentors to younger team members and, with their years of experience, are more unflappable when faced with challenges. They are also hugely resourceful. One should therefore never view a productive senior worker as someone who is depriving younger folks of opportunities. In fact, they are best equipped to play an important role in business expansion, job creation and on-the-job training.

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