Need For More Facilities For Elderly

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Prime Minister David Thompson??greeting residents of the New Dawn in the Community Nursing Home.

Prime Minister David Thompson would like to see more elderly persons who do not have a family residence being cared for in nursing homes.

He made this disclosure recently after a tour of the New Dawn in the Community Nursing Home in Colleton, St. John.

Mr. Thompson described the area as a new one for development, noting that as the population ages, there would be a need for more facilities of that type. "So it’s an area of business that once you find a suitable location, it’s something that’s worth going into, particularly for young entrepreneurs," he observed.

The Prime Minister lamented the fact that abandonment of the elderly had been a cause for great concern and had put "a lot of pressure on our social services". He said that facilities such as New Dawn, where relatives visited, and the owners and workers were doing things to ensure that the quality of life of the residents was enhanced, were therefore "very desirable".????

He also pointed out that health care had become "a very big issue" throughout the world, particularly in countries that did not have health insurance or a high level of social service provision.

"Because of social change, the extended family is coming under strain and people don’t have the resources to provide for the elderly, so, you find more of these facilities.?? Plus, people are going to make greater provision for their retirement because they realise that the cost of retiring cannot be met on pensions alone and cannot often be met by your relatives, so it is something that we have to be more concerned about," Mr. Thompson opined.

New Dawn was officially opened in June 2006, at a cost of $1 million. It has the capacity for housing 40 patients, but currently provides accommodation for 26 elderly persons. The facility also offers day care and temporary care for elderly persons whose caretakers may be unavailable for a short period.

Its directors Ronald and Patricia Nurse have plans to offer respite and palliative services for terminally ill persons in the near future.

gapplewhaite@barbados.gov.bb

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