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Ageing with grace

Over 150 persons aged 40 and over, are now more informed on how to improve their ageing lifestyles.

This is as a result of a one-day Active Ageing Seminar hosted by the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development.

It was held June 8 at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed, as part of activities for this year’s National Senior Games.

The event included presentations by Nutritionist, Donna Barker; Physical Therapist, Dr. Jacqueline King-Mowatt; Acting Executive Director of the Productivity Council, Anthony Sobers; and discussions on Ageing Actively in Mind, Body and Spirit, led by former Parliamentarian, Maizie Barker-Welch and former Permanent Secretary, Lionel Weekes.

Pointing out that the initiative was designed to present a “positive image of ageing”, Minister Steve Blackett, during his opening remarks, affirmed: “We strongly believe that older persons who have retired from work or who live with disabilities still have much to look forward to and much to contribute to their families, communities and the wider society.”

The minister also stated that there were a number of health issues pertaining to the older population that needed to be addressed, but noted that they were still capable of making significant contributions to society.

“We will no longer be confined to the proverbial rocking chair. We have a lot of work to do for ourselves, and for our communities, and by extension for our country, whether we are 40 years or 100,” he asserted.

The minister alluded to the ministry’s programmes which aimed at increasing physical and mental activity in older persons. These, he said, would not only “enhance their wellbeing”, but also reduce the incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases, and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.

“The National Senior Games has been the flagship of the ministry’s active ageing programme since 2002. However, we know that everyone cannot be an athlete. I therefore invite you to take advantage of the National Assistance Board’s Recreational Activities Programme which offers a range of other activities for seniors at 15 community centres and churches throughout the island,” Blackett suggested, noting that tournaments in board and table games would soon be introduced as additional activities.

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