Government Reiterates its Commitment to the Care of the Elderly

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Donville Inniss, Minister of Health, receives a copy of the newly launched, ‘Criteria for the Licensing of Private Hospitals, Nursing Homes Senior Citizens’ Homes and Maternity Homes’, today from Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George, at the Ministry of Health. (A.Miller/BGIS)??

The Government of Barbados has reaffirmed its commitment to the care of the elderly with the launch of a booklet outlining the criteria to be used in the provision of care for such persons in private hospitals, nursing homes and senior citizens’ homes.

The launch took place today in the conference room of the Ministry of Health, which is located in the Frank Walcott Building, Culloden Road, St. Michael.

According to Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, the booklet, entitled: Criteria for the Licensing of Private Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Senior Citizens’ Homes and Maternity Homes, was a compilation of all the various standards and regulations that were required to operate such businesses.

"The booklet covers areas relating to building and operational requirements, the role and responsibilities of officers who inspect the homes and hospitals and the requisite staffing levels", he added.

Mr. Inniss also pointed out that while the name of the booklet spoke specifically to private institutions, Government facilities providing the same services would be expected to follow the guidelines. ["…In the Geriatric care setting, the Ministry continues to undertake maintenance of institutions, upgrading of skills and competencies of staff to enhance the delivery of care to the elderly," he explained.

Additionally, the Minister said that in keeping with Government’s holistic approach to the care of the elderly, his Ministry was committed to ensuring the availability of quality care and improved access to appropriate health services.??

Strategies to achieve this will include integrating a comprehensive programme for geriatric patients into the wider system of health care and promoting care of the elderly within the family-setting and the community by shifting the

emphasis from institutional care to community-based care, to ensure that an older person remains in his or her home within the community for as long as possible.

They will also focus on advocating opportunities for the elderly to promote their optimal level of social, physical, mental and emotional well-being and identifying the numbers of elderly who are living on their own, to evaluate the care system needed to cope with the increasing numbers of the?? elderly and to assess the efficacy of the present system.

Copies of the booklet will be distributed to facilities which offer care for elderly persons.??

kim.ramsay-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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