There is a disconnect between vulnerable members of Barbados and Barbadians on a whole.
This is the view of Democratic Labour Party’s candidate for St. Michael North East, Patricia Inniss.
She and members of the constituency branch were visiting Louise Browne, who was a resident of the St. Michael constituency but now resided at the Geriatric Hospital on Beckles Road, yesterday afternoon when Barbados TODAY spoke with her.
Inniss said that she was extremely concerned about the lack of connection that seniors had with the outside world, thus their reasons for making an effort to connect with the seniors, to entertain them and to give them some much needed materials.
“We need people to come and connect with our seniors and orphans and the disabled. I was speaking to a nurse yesterday in another home and she said that she has found, and other nurses have found, that persons with Alzheimer’s and disabilities, once you’re connecting with them it helps tremendously.
“Children as well are disregarding their parents, disregarding their seniors. They are not bringing materials like the pampers. It is really getting bad. I really have to send out a heart-rending plea: ‘try and remember your parents, try and remember the seniors, because the thing about it is you are going to regret it’.
“People are not living in the reality. When you do not regard your parents and elders you are teaching your children not to regard you. We are disconnecting ourselves from our seniors, from persons who need us,” she said.
Inniss said that as well as the three or four organisations which they presently sponsor, the members of the DLP branch were very serious and committed to encouraging others to visit the seniors and the less fortunate.
So much so, that they have now put it as a mandate that people in aid of sponsorship should first show that they intend to visit a home at least twice a year.
“This is the request and plea that I am putting out to all corporate Barbados, we are not asking you to adopt a home, but if every corporate citizen at least goes and visits twice a year do you know how much a difference that would make? I do know the churches do it but they need more. It is so desperate now, anyone who has good motives can come. Even as we in the St. Michael North East have done that I have heard one or two detractors say that we are doing this because it is near elections, but my claim to that is whatever cause you have, you go and do it too.
“I am also trying to encourage Barbadians, the service groups, service clubs, businesses, sporting groups, a number of institution which have, supposedly, community outreach programmes to do so; come and visit the seniors. As a matter of a fact not only seniors, but persons with disabilities and orphans.
“The same way we can do it, every service club that has an outreach programme can visit at least two homes as well- It helps tremendously.”
The celebrations for Seniors’ Month continue as the former Senator visits three other senior citizens’ homes in the St. Michael East constituency this week, continuing with the Spooner’s Hill Senior Citizen’s home today. (KC)