President of the Dominica Council on Ageing (DCOA), Ophelia Olivaccé Marie, has identified the need to increase the council’s staff in order to reach out to every elderly person on the island.
Marie was speaking during a press conference to launch the activities for the ‘Month of the Elderly’ held at Windsor Park Sports Stadium conference room on Tuesday.
“The council has its challenges,” she said. “We recognize that our staff needs to grow if we need to reach out to everybody out there with a view to making them feel that they are wanted, that they are appreciated and that they belong to a unit that is so vital.”
Marie continued, “We really have a lot of different ways which we want to reach them.”
She said the council is looking at a group of persons called liaison officers that hopefully, they will be able to recruit in order to go into those areas (districts).
“Normally, we operate under the Ministry of Health and so we pattern our districts on the districts of the Ministry of Health,” she explained. “There are 7 of them; we have two field officers so we are looking for 5 more,” she stated.
She added, “We are hoping that will push our programme forward and assist us better, in understanding the work that we have to do there.”
Meantime, the DCOA has put together a number of activities which will form part of the Month of the Elderly traditionally observed in September.
The activities will be celebrated under the theme: “Pioneers of Resilience-The Journey to Age Equality” from September 1st to October 1st. The theme appeals to all to recognize the resilience of the senior citizens and seeks to bridge the gap between the youth and the elderly citizens of the nation.
The DCOA strongly advocates the inclusion of the elderly in all areas of life on the island, particularly where their wisdom and knowledge are recognized and appreciated.
The council has been in existence for 25 year. Its mission statement is to empower older persons to live life to the fullest.
The list of activities for the Month of The Elderly are listed below:
September 2nd- Address by President of Dominica, His Excellency Charles A. Savarin
September 3rd-Press Conference – Windsor Park Sports Stadium conference room 10:00am
September 4th- Radio Talk Show DBS- 10AM
September 8th – Grandparents Day in the communities
September 15th- Service at Pointe Michel Church – 2PM
September 19th – Feast of La Salette at Pointe Michel from 9AM
September 22nd- DCOA National Senior Games at Windsor Park Stadium
September 24th- Love our Seniors Youth Workshop at UWI Open Campus from 8:15AM
September 28th- Senior Island Tour
October 1st- Address by Health Minister Dr. Kenneth Darroux.
Other activities by groups and affiliate members date to be announced.