More than 100 seniors attended the luncheon and program, dotted with a steel pan performing from the Golden Years Orchestra, songs by the community Care Givers and remarks by the Minister of Social Development Hon Eric Evelyn.
“The Observer” spoke with Deputy Director of Social Services Joyce Moven who gave a brief back ground on the program luncheon.
“Today we are celebrating our seniors as we have done over the past years. It’s Valentine’s Day and we treat the seniors. This year we are at Weekendz bar because what we are trying to do annually is to rotate around the establishments.
“It has been going on for quite a few years. It actually started with Community Development, when we then serenaded the seniors. We brought in some school children and we took them around to community centers. It was more focus then. It was not like how it is now with such a big recreational group,” she said.
Moven said that about 100 seniors regularly attended the senior’s recreational program and pointed out more than 100 persons attended the Valentine’s Day as they do other special occasions as it is an open invitation to the seniors.
In addition to special occasions seniors are involved in regular meetings at the various community centers around the island.
“They have arts and craft, developmental section , we bring in persons who can help with their wills, health and nutrition , exercise programs, sometimes they go on island tours, they have a annual beach nic’ and in October there is their big month celebrating older person,” Moven said.
She noted that “all of our recreation programs are free of charge. We want even person to come on board because as it is a form of socializing. Socializing is a deterrent to Alzheimer’s
Moven said that in Nevis a person 65 years and older is recognized as a senior.
“Who is a senior? Well it is how you feel. United Nations categorizes a person 62 and over as a senior however in Nevis we say if you feel like, you can come. We have some people here that are not necessarily seniors but the come along with the seniors but for now though in Nevis we recognize seniority at 65 and over and I say this because that is the age that we begin giving the bus pass and our subsidize electricity and water,” she said.
The large seniors group in Nevis currently has a small percent of men taking part.
“Based on statistics and data from international agencies worldwide we realize that woman live longer than men and St Kitts and Nevis is no exception. We try to encourage them (men) to come out and join in and we incorporate them in all ways.”
Moven informed of a new initiative that will be launched shortly between the Senior Citizens Division and Judy Brown who is of Nevisian parent ship but of English decent.
“The idea is to have a ‘Moonlight Lime’. We are planning this for March 1. The seniors will have a night out. It will begin at about 5pm and end about 8pm. They will get all dressed up and reminisces of time go by. This is a new Initiative we are trying to pilot,” she said.
Moven said that anyone seeking more information about activities for seniors on the island can contact the Seniors Citizens Division office.