The Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs has set up a helpline for the elderly as Barbadians grapple with the COVID-19 threat.
The number 536-HOPE or 536-4673, is expected to be activated and functional by Monday, March 23.
Minister Cynthia Forde made the announcement while speaking on Starcom’s Down to Brass Tacks this afternoon.
The line will be manned by social workers who will provide counselling, advice and referrals to Barbadians who need help navigating the complexities of caring for their elderly relatives at this time.
Minister Forde, in addressing the matter of dealing with difficult older relatives said there were some elderly persons who refused to follow COVID-19 protocols by venturing out instead of staying at home.
She said Government would have to address this issue. “There are some senior citizens who will not remain at home. Everything is in the house, but they want to be outside socializing and that is a real big problem. We will have to give that some kind of special attention as well,” Minister Forde emphasized.
She added that members of the disabled community could also access the helpline, if they needed assistance.
Ms. Forde also called on suitably qualified volunteers to make contact with the Ministry to offer assistance with the helpline.
“We want to give hope to the Barbadian public and those visitors among us that we care for them and their welfare. We must come together collectively and do the volunteering and do the kind of servicing that is necessary to make sure we safeguard our people,” she stated.