First ever elderly residential facilities’ visiting committee launched

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, May 4, 2017

The first ever elderly residential facilities visiting committee was launched today, by the Ministry of Social Protection at the Ministry’s Water and Cornhill Streets location.

Minister of Social Protection Amna Ally, while delivering brief remarks said the elderly have made significant contributions to society’s culture and norms; therefore this committee is a great initiative to ensure that their conditions in the facilities are improved.

Minister of Social Protection Amna Ally (front centre), Director of Social Services Whentworth Tanner (second left back row) and Ministry of Social Protection’s Permanent Secretary, Lorene Baird (second left front row) with members of the newly established elderly residential facilities visiting committee

The Minister explained that the existing services provided by the current elderly residential facilities may need to be modified, or in some cases, fully changed. To this end, she urged the newly established committee to work closely with the administration at these facilities to ensure that there are improved facilities and conditions for the elderly.

“Collaboration between the management of the entities, the visiting committee, as well as the public, is necessary because there will be suggestions that can come from the outsiders other than the people within the ministry or the institutions that can help to make the institutions better,” Minister Ally underlined.

The Social Protection Minister noted that the aim, however, is not to only launch these committees, but to also act on them and ensure that work is being done. She said that Ministry is moving apace to better serve all Guyanese and is confident that her, “very responsive officers” will be able to do so.

Director of Social Services at the Ministry Whentworth Tanner highlighted that many of the existing facilities do not have the financial or technical resources required to effect the changes necessary to meet the minimum standards for elderly care. However, the Ministry will work with those facilities to ensure so that they meet, at least the minimum standards before 2018.

Tanner said “through this committee, the ministry hopes to identify innovative mechanisms to help existing charitable and nonprofit facilities to better serve the elderly in their care. This is to be done by the introductory of platforms for the sharing of experiences and maximising of resources and developing objective criteria of the future allocation of resources for elderly residential facilities.”

Meanwhile, member of the visiting committee, Stanley Egerton Cooke said the committee has already started visiting homes and will continue to work with the facilities to ensure that the elderly are treated humanely.

Cooke noted that, “by auditing all of the governmental and other homes and finding out what are their needs through feedbacks and observation we are going to be able pass on our opinions to the Ministry of Social Protection. As we do that those opinions will be inserted in the decision making of the Ministry and seep into the formulation of national policies.

The committee is made up of Abike Benjamin-Samuels as the Coordinator, and members including, Ricardo Banwarie, Kester Garnett, Oonah Wendel Roberts, Dr. Laura Perera Amores and Djamilsa Lambert. This team will ensure compliance with the minimum standards for elderly residential facilities.

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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