Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett. (FP)

Twenty-two Home Care workers from the National Assistance Board (NAB) are now graduates of a Care of the Elderly course which was conducted by the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.

The NAB employees received their certificates and awards last Saturday night during a graduation ceremony which was held at the Savannah Hotel.

Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, congratulated the graduates and noted that with the information obtained, they would be able to "dispel certain myths, misconceptions and stereotypes of the older adult."

"…Members of staff who participated in the Care of the Elderly Course are in a position to utilise the knowledge gained to plan individualised care for older adults; identify common manifestations of ageing disorders; demonstrate knowledge of nutritional and dietary needs of the elderly; plan and carry out household duties as required; and communicate effectively with older adults, health teams and significant others.??

"Additionally, graduands have reached the stage where they are more knowledgeable about issues pertaining to legal, ethical and moral issues with reference to the older adult," Minister Blackett pointed out.

Alluding to the increased life expectancy of Barbadians, the Minister stated that the NAB has placed much emphasis on equipping its staff with the necessary tools to meet the needs of the ageing population.

"The National Assistance Board… in its Mission Statement [promises] to maintain the dignity of the elderly persons in Barbados through the provision of an innovative range of social support and recreational services which are accessible, available and acceptable, thus enhancing their quality of life within their communities.?? The Care of the Elderly Course assists the Board in pursuing its efforts to have at its disposal a sufficiently trained and well informed staff," he affirmed.

Also underscoring his Ministry’s commitment to developing policies and strategies to address the older population, Minister Blackett explained that it would involve "examining the approaches utilised by the respective agencies and departments which were mandated to meet the needs of older persons in Barbados," adding that "an integral part of this whole process revolved around exposing staff to opportunities both locally and regionally."

The Social Care Minister affirmed that participation in the course, which included a continuous evaluation of job performance, would be of benefit to the NAB and the Ministry, as it would help to "increase the skill set of employees… It improves the morale and self-esteem of employees… [and] thirdly, on account of staff working collaboratively, it engenders a sense of camaraderie and allows for more team work."


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