Dominica’s Lady of Song, Ophelia Olivaccé Marie is the new President of the Dominica Council on Aging (DCOA).
She replaces outgoing President Gloria Shillingford.
Ophelia, who has been involved in social work for a long time, told Dominica News Online (DNO) during an interview on Wednesday, that being President of the DCOA is another step-up in line with her new stage in life.
“I have always been involved in social work, in working in communities, so being President now of the Dominica Council on Aging is another step-up in line with my new stage in life, my seniority and also the fact that people are paying a lot of attention to me so I have to continue living with the talents that the Lord has given me,” she said.
According to Ophelia, she has been a member of the board for at least six (6) years and also a member of the Vibrant Senior Citizens of Dominica for 17 years, “so I think I have certain cooperation with regards to what is happening among older persons and some of the things we would like to do.”
She further stated that the council has been and should continue to give a voice.
“A big voice to senior citizens, not only those within the walls of the council, but also senior persons outside the organization,” she stated. “But of course the organization helps us to understand the seriousness of abuse against the elderly, the seriousness of how a small aspect of rain water falling from one side of the roof could affect their entire life.”
She went on to say that the value of having good homes or residences with proper standards for senior persons to comfortably live in, “we know we have to pay attention to that aspect.”
Ophelia indicated also, that the council recognizes the value of training for persons who are taking care of the elderly in their homes or elsewhere.
“It is important that we pay attention to their value and their worth, because they [the elderly] have contributed to so much that we are today,” she noted. “It is going to be a matter of encouraging a love affair between the senior citizens and the rest of us.”
She continued, “It is going to be an opportunity where we would like to have people include the elderly in what is happening in their various communities and national activities so that the voice of the seniors can be heard.”
The newly-elected DCOA president said the council wants to “big-up” the senior citizens so that people can be aware of their contributions, situations and what each and every citizen can do to make their lives better, “and in that way make our lives better.”