2021 was ‘filled with many challenges’ for Dominican seniors – DCOA (with photos of the AGM)


The Dominica Council on Ageing (DCOA) has described 2021 as a year filled with many challenges for Dominican seniors

The newfound challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which Dominica’s seniors have had to endure during the past 12 months were the main focus at the Dominica Council of Ageing (DCOA) 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held last week.

Addressing the meeting which was held under the theme, “Conquering the Challenges of the Day,” President of the DCOA, Ophelia Olivaccè-Marie, was of the view that to describe the period under review, January 2021 to December 2021, as a real challenge may qualify as the understatement of the year.

“This year has been a unique trial not only for me personally, but for the DCOA, and for all senior citizens of Dominica as well,” she said. “During 2021/2022 the DCOA and the rest of Dominica battled COVID-19 and therefore I share your wish that this pandemic should just go away and leave us to enjoy our remaining years in peace and tranquillity,” Olivaccè-Marie stated.

She continued, “I don’t need to tell you that we are all suffering from COVID fatigue, the condition that makes you feel dull and tired, takes away your energy, occupies your mind constantly and eats away at your ability to get things done. Our seniors can do without that.”

Furthermore, the president revealed that the pandemic continues to take its toll on the lives of Dominica’s elderly citizens.

While she notes that many have adhered to the advice from the Ministry of Health to limit as much as possible, contact with the elderly, as they are among the most vulnerable group, Mrs Olivaccè-Marie points out that isolation which was already a problem for the seniors before COVID-19, has now increased, negatively impacting their health.eased their isolation which was already  the pandemic.

“One of the major programmes of the DCOA is the issue of our centenarians; we noted that during the year, we lost many centenarians due to COVID-19, natural causes, and the effect of increased isolation because of the pandemic,” she said.

According to the DCOA head, about a year ago Dominica boasted of having 27 “living Gems”, however, by February 2022, that number has dwindled to an all-time low of just fifteen.

Nevertheless, Mrs Olivaccè-Marie says the Council continues to make every effort to achieve their goal of  “Conquering the Challenges of the Day” as their theme suggests.

She said that throughout the period under review, many individuals, associations, and organisations as well as the government, have demonstrated that they care about the welfare of the older persons “in a positive way through their response to our call for help and through our efforts to raise funds to execute our programmes.”

While thanking those benefactors of the DCOA, the Association’s president stressed that a prerequisite for the active involvement of Older Persons in building a caring society, is the recognition that these elderly citizens are an integral part of society.

The DCOA added a new dimension to its programme of activities in 2021 – Centenarians Day –  which they hope to make an annual affair.

Highlighting some of her personal challenges, Mrs Olivaccè-Marie revealed that for four months of this term, she was unable to adequately perform the duties and responsibilities of the President due to serious health issues.

“From December 2021 to April 2022, I underwent surgery to regulate the beat of my heart. Doctors here and in the United States of America, successfully addressed the problem. As they say: I’m now good to go,” she made known.

Olivaccè-Marie went on to express her gratitude to her entire executive as well as members of staff of the DCOA “ for competently steering the ship during my absence.”

During the business session of the DCOA AGM, only one new member, Caryl Baron, was elected to serve as a board member, replacing Melvina Walsh-Leslie.

The other individuals include Mrs Olivacce-Marie (President), Nigel Lawrence (1st Vice President), Leroy ‘Wadix’ Charles (2nd Vice President), Mervin Alexander (Secretary), Loranna Jno Baptiste (Treasurer), Ainsworth Irish (Asst. Sec/Trea.), Ohaegbu Longinus and Sherita Gregoire (Board members) as well as Yvonne Alexander (Supernumerary).

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  1. Oops
    June 4, 2022

    What’s the use of all these pictures? The photographer had to be paid?

  2. Ibo France
    June 3, 2022

    “Conquering the Challenges of the Day” was the theme of DCOA this time around. However, the president essentially only mentioned one, Covid 19.

    Does the council have enough human and material resources? What about medication , health care, transportation, food, etcetera, for the elderly to live comfortably in their sunset years?

    I personally think that too many of our elderly persons are deserted, neglected, ill-treated, robbed, tricked, insulted, not only by strangers, but their own family members.

    Some endure incredible hunger; go days without a proper bath or a change of clothing. It’s excruciatingly painful just to think about the shocking brutality that these forerunners have to suffer on a daily basis.

    Longevity is a special gift from God. Let’s care for our seniors with lots of love, appreciation and gratitude.

    • Oops
      June 4, 2022

      @ibo France What a joker you are to make all these false allegations concerning the treatment of the elderly people. You just cannot read anything without keeping your clappers shut and your opinion to yourself. You are becoming more of a pest on DNO. When you make such false claims you are walk walking side by side with the man you call “King Liar.” You are very dangerous and careless in your remarks. Watch your tongue 👅 boy boy 👦 and grow up. DNO should demand that you verify your claims made concerning the treatment of the elderly; with their names to confirm such claims. You are taking Dominica lower than your leader. And by the way, quotation marks are there for a reason, so used them….This way you won’t seem so smart.

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