Dominicans owe senior person’s security and a sense of dignity, says minister


Hon. Miriam Blanchard

Parliamentary Representative for Roseau North Constituency, Hon. Miriam Blanchard has expressed that Dominicans “owe” the senior persons of this nation security and a sense of dignity. At an AGM of the Dominica Council on Aging yesterday, the minister showed her support for the council and its members.

At the meeting, various concerns were raised on how the elderly should be treated including the disturbance from loud music in public, outdoor spaces which need to be made more accessible to the elderly, and courtesy for older persons on public transportation. Additionally, how persons the age of 60 and above should be involved in civic participation, and provisions that should be made for the elderly in technology.

“It is indeed important to recognize our elderly. They need care and comfort to live healthy lives without worry and without any anxiety, and so we ought to protect and offer them that security and sense of dignity; we owe them this much,” she said.

 She stated that her government continues supporting the work of the DCOA in its efforts to provide a safe haven for the elderly and to champion their interests and well-being, adding that they hold a distinguished record of service to Dominica’s seniors.

“Dominica’s seniors are entitled to care and medication at no cost to them and I am told that a number of persons are recipients of this program and as we expand our health services with more health and wellness centers our elderly now have greater access to advanced skill and primary healthcare level.”

Blanchard mentioned The ‘Yes, We Care’  program which she stated continues to focus on the care of the elderly by providing daily assistance and the means to acquire medicine and other basic necessities.

“You will remember that as in support of one of our seniors, this government introduced the payment of non-contributory pension to persons aged 70 and over, and in recent times this was extended to our seniors from age 65 who are retired, do not qualify with the Social Security pension and are not yet eligible for the government’s non-contributory pension; this came in effect in January of this year.”

She noted that pension from the amount of $300 a month has increased by 5% which came into effect in January of 2023. Blanchard believes that seniors are owed respect and consideration as Dominica is “now building our country on the foundation that they set to their hard work.”

“I believe… that a society is judged on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens and the policies we have pursued in the past years speaks of our intent to look after the welfare of our elderly citizens and to ensure that they continue to live with dignity. “

She also made mention of the National Advisory Board that was recently established to focus on ways to enhance the quality of care and services provided to the elderly at the national level with a particular spotlight on caring for those afflicted with dementia.

“This is just one aspect of elderly care you can consider as you endeavor to build awareness around the needs of our elderly and create friendly communities in which they thrive”

Meantime, outgoing President of DCOA, Ophelia Marie addressed the council in her last speech before she stepped down. She expressed that she is filled with pride and some sadness as her term comes to an end.

“I address you at this time with a sense of both pride and a small degree of sadness. It is with great pride that I look back on the last two terms of two years each of my tenure as the President of the DCOA,” she expressed

“It is a period during which the image of our council grew. Our radio programme, ‘Seniors on the Move’ provided a platform which we used to inform of the work of advocacy, as well as the sharing of information, education, and creating public awareness in which our council was involved.”

Marie noted that their membership learned to use social media on which they held meetings, viewed shows and particularly during the COVID highpoints were able to share greetings, messages, prayers, recipes, health and education points. She also added that the council lost eleven of their centenarian gems, some to COVID and other ailments.

“During this year [the] council continued to grapple with similar levels of work with its focus on the needs of the elderly. The council continued to speak and act against the abuse of older persons be these incidents of physical, emotional, psychological, financial, and even sexual abuse.”

Marie sent a heartfelt recognition and appreciation of the first vice president, Mr. Nigel Lawrence, who during her ailment very ably, with passion and commitment, kept the council not just afloat but working. And she also thanked all the other board members.

She added that she is proud of the work that has been done in advocating for older persons in our community but added that their work is not complete yet.

“There is still much to be done to ensure that seniors in our community are able to live fulfilling and independent lives [and] I am confident that the new leadership of this organization will continue to build on the foundation that we have laid over the last six years and before,” she said.

“As I prepare to step down from my role as president, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to each and every one of you for your support. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your president. It was a rewarding experience and I am proud of what we have accomplished together.”


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  1. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    June 4, 2023

    “Dominicans “owe” the senior persons of this nation security and a sense of dignity. ”

    That ‘s bull, simple political hogwash, stupid rhetoric to attract you and Roosevelt yard fouls who don’t have the ambition to hold a job, but want everything for free from government!

    Whereas treating other people with dignity means treating them the way we’d like to be treated ourselves.
    “Every human has the right to lead a dignified life and fulfill his or her potential. Young, old, rich, poor; all over the world we all share the right to be treated with dignity. We treat others with dignity each time we lend a helping hand, stick up for a friend, or recognize the qualities and talents that make each of us special.”

    On the other hand where people are born in a country, never work, never held a paying job, what sort of dignity can one have existing in poverty? In other nations, North America, and Europe the system is set up so that everyone who needs a job can find one.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      June 4, 2023

      So, in the developed nations, people work and contribute into a social security system, along with an outside 401K and other pension plan so that by the time they retire at 62, or 65 years old they have a pension, or social security check cumming to them monthly, and so most people live dignified life’s, without depending on the welfare system.

      I know people whose pension is much more than $8,000.00 dollars per month, and though they are retired, they still work, some part time, others full time.
      When people work in America, a certain amount is deducted from their pay to go into the welfare system to accommodate the unfortunate, and even some illegal Dominicans are here living off that welfare system preventing them from going hunger.
      You give people three hundred meager Dominica dollars per month, and expect them to live a dignify life; there is no dignity in poverty and want!
      When you are sick Roosevelt fly you out, others stay in Dominica and die!
      Is that dignity?

  2. dissident
    June 2, 2023

    Did that address de challenges of de grotto at all?

  3. Lin clown
    June 2, 2023

    No Meme Skerrit is in power for so long because of the blessings poured upon him by the senior citizens. Your party UWP is dead because of the curse put on them by the senior citizens.DLP is giving $300 monthly,UWP has promised to stop the yes we care,NEP and the $300 monthly.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      June 6, 2023

      Jon-sot, who the hell in Dominica can live off three ($300.OO) per month, when one pay more than $150.00 dollars for less than a pound of meat, and or imported New New Zealand Salmon.
      And check this master Clown:
      Mastif (little French loaf) Bread – $2 (long past)
      Cheese $10 per 450g
      Margarine $8 450g
      Eggs $4 per half dozen
      Local Fresh Whole Chicken $35
      Fresh Fish $7-8 per pound
      Lettuce $3
      Carrots $5 per pound
      Bananas $1 for three
      Bottled Water $3 per litre
      Kubuli (local) beer – $4 (no longer exists).
      Rum punch $13
      Note: you Roosevelt lap dog; such prices are a thing of the past, that’s more than twenty years ago; I simply quoted that even then, three hundred dollars per month, could not help!
      My late sister died over a years ago got that amount, nevertheless; I still had to give her more than a thousand dollars to live on from month to month and a thousand to someone who looked after her.
      It also cost me a small fortune to build her a modest two bedroom…

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        June 6, 2023

        You keep on babbling like a lost sheep, piping crap, whereas you do not even know the value of money. We see people on the Streets of Roseau too often cumming out of what you all call supermarkets, complaining, and displaying what the were able to buy with three hundred EC dollars.

        Jon-sot nobody even at age 100+ cannot survive on three hundred Dominica dollars per month; that’s only approximately US$111.11. The average person in America spends more each and everyday in this country.

        Shut up, Dominica is just a damn poor country, and the sooner you come to accept that it is the sooner you will stop revering Roosevelt Skerrit,, who continuously fills his deep pocket with money at you expense!
        Check your bank account if you have one, see how much you saved from honest money, and look at Roosevelt and his family lifestyle, and accumulated wealth, for one who born poor like a church mouse, how could he become so rich in twenty years, on a government minister’s pay in Dominica.

  4. MEME
    June 1, 2023

    Well done Ophelia!!!
    Blanchard, you spoke well, but you can’t walk the walk. First of all you should have agitated for more than 5% increase to the monthly XCD$ 300.00… $15.00 EXTRA??? Peanuts!! While Skerrit gets in excess of XCD$64 000.00?
    An abuse of the elderly you deliberately left out, is when sinister politicians go to the elderllies home, and even if they are sick to death, take them on wheel chairs on bumpy roads, to polling stations to vote. This is CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR, and i have personally condemned it ad nauseam. I personally witnessed a sick elderly self urinate on the wheelchair while waiting to cast a ballot. Denounce that Miriam! You should have no respect for GREEDY THIEVES, LIARS and TRICKSTERS posing as politicians!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

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