The National Assistance Board today launched its 18th Seniors Recreational Activities Centre at the St. John the Baptist Church, the first in the parish of St. James.
Speaking at the launch of the centre, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Neil Rowe, urged persons to ensure that older persons are treated with respect and have their needs met, so that they can age with dignity.
He acknowledged the contribution that seniors have made to the development of Barbados. “Barbados is strong today because of the care and dedication of our seniors. As a country, we are grateful to them for all they have done to build up and sustain our families and communities,” he said.
He also pointed out that there were several benefits to being enrolled in the programme, while noting that age should never be a determining factor.
“You are never too old or young to take part in activities according to your needs, capacities and resources, and should not be made to feel excluded. Participating in such activities can promote mental and physical wellness as well as emotional well-being. No matter where you are in life, there is no better time than now to start participating.”
“If you remain inactive and static at home, not only will our society lose a vast reservoir of knowledge and skills, but such a sedentary lifestyle can shorten your life span by the onset and development of chronic diseases, dementia and depression.”
The Seniors’ Recreational Activities Programme has been in existence for 28 years, and has centres in 10 parishes, with the exception being St. Andrew.