Community-Based Care for the Elderly

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Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, Minister of Health (Ag), speaks to 93 year old, Cleotta Ward about common neighbours and times past as they realised they were both originally from St. Andrew, yesterday at the Geriatric Hospital’s Open Day, Black Rock, St. Michael. (A.Miller/BGIS)

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) will be moving shortly to put in place a monitoring system for seniors being admitted there so as to ensure they are not abandoned at that health care institution.

This disclosure has come from acting Minister of Health, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, following a tour of the Geriatric Hospital on Beckles Road, yesterday.

Senator Sandiford Garner pointed out that while the QEH was presently home to a large number of abandoned elderly persons, that was not its purpose. ??She stated that the practice was placing a burden on the institution as a whole and was having a ripple effect through the institution.

With regard to providing care for the elderly, the acting Minister of Health explained that the Ministry of Social Care, through its poverty alleviation programme was liaising with the Geriatric Hospital to ascertain how persons could be brought into that facility.

In relation to caring for the elderly on a daily basis, she suggested that the community centres should be used, saying "… the elderly that catch the bus to come here [Geriatric Hospital] come from communities. ??I am suggesting that probably, the councils could look at the community centres that are vacant all day. Have some of their retired nurses and teachers come in and facilitate the care of these elderly people whose children worry about them when they go to work". According to her, this activity would go a long way in preventing many of the avoidable issues gained from a lack of interaction.

alyson.holder@barbados.gov.bb

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