Social Protection Ministry to implement minimum standards to improve elderly care
GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, November 24, 2016
Elderly citizens will soon benefit from improved care through the Ministry of Social Protection’s minimum standards booklet. The minimum standards seek to provide more modern institutions for the elderly.
The booklet will be taken to Cabinet shortly and is expected to be implemented in 2017.
Early this year, the Ministry engaged a consultant to develop the minimum standards for elderly care facilities. Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that there are a number of challenges and hurdles when caring for the elderly. These include the inability to attract and retain committed human resources, limited ownership from families to assist in the general care and welfare of the elderly and poor management.
“This instrument (booklet) here is very pivotal, because it covers several areas which will take care of the needs which our elderly have, and it would give guidelines to those persons who are in the capacity to administer to the various needs of the persons,” the Minister explained.
It is envisaged that these standards will be lifted to ensure that elderly persons are respected, treated fairly, and with dignity, live a productive life and are in constant contact with loved ones, the Minister explained.
Minister Lawrence noted that this has been a goal of her Ministry since she assumed office 18 months ago. The instrument puts Guyana forward with its obligations nationally and internationally, she stated.
Meanwhile, Director, Social Services, Whentworth Tanner pointed out that the standards look at physical health, psychological, and
psychosocial care amongst others. “We believe with the implementation of the minimum standards we will greatly improve the quality of service provided to those persons in elderly care facilities,” he said.
Tanner pointed out that the Social Protection Ministry is about to set up the oversight committee which will include members from the Commission for the Elderly and the Palms Home for Geriatrics for the implementation of the minimum standards.
Secretary of the Commission for the Elderly, Yvette De Leon said the minimum standards will greatly benefit the elderly since they would provide the necessary help and a better environment for them.
“I feel very good about it because of the fact that we’re looking at improving the care for the elderly, and in so doing, we will have these minimum standards that will give us guidance and direction which I think will make life very simple for the administrators at the homes and also for us,” De Leon explained.
Some of the minimum standards in the document include: elderly residential care facilities have a documented and publicly available admissions policy, residents’ human rights are respected and maintained within the facility, elderly residential facilities are staffed to provide quality services to residents and the physical infrastructure of elderly residential facilities are designed and maintained to cater to the special needs of the elderly among 15 other standards.
By: Ranetta La Fleur