International Day of Older Persons Celebrated in Nevis

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By John Denny Observer Reporter
(Charlestown, Nevis) ” In an event to mark the International Day of Older Persons, Nevis Community Nurse Lorraine Archibald spoke to over 100 of the island’s elderly at the newly completed Occasions Center on Bypass Road and explained to them that their rights are protected under the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The theme of Ms. Archibald’s address was “Rights of Older Persons” and focused on the rights of elderly persons to care, participation, independence, self-fulfillment and dignity. She also informed them that they represented the fastest growing demographic. “You, the older persons have made up a large and growing population group in our country. You have made up a group whose health needs we, the younger generation, do not fully understand and we are yet to offer the full complement of services that you require and deserve,” she said. Thursday Online Code for Issue # 728 is SOC “Over the past decades a massive change has taken place where fewer children are being born and fewer people are dying. According to the United Nations by the year 2050 one out of five people will be age 60 years or older and by 2150, one out of every three people will be age 60 years or older.” According to Article 25, Paragraph 1, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of sickness, unemployment, disability, widowhood, and old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.” The basic rights guaranteed by the declaration, according to Ms. Archibald, include the right to food, water, shelter, clothing and health care. They have a right to access income generating opportunities and also a right to reside at home for as long as possible. The elderly have a right to remain integrated in society, participate actively in the formulation and implementation of policies, form movements or association, right to access social and legal services and right to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms when residing in any shelter, care of treatment facility, including full respect for their dignity, beliefs, needs and privacy and for the right to make decisions. The elderly have a right to educational, cultural, spiritual and recreational resources of society and the right to be free of exploitation and physical mental abuse, said Ms. Archibald. “You have a right to be treated fairly regardless of age, gender, racial or ethnic background, disability or other status, and be valued independently for your economic contribution,” she said. Also at the event, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, the Hon. Henley Daniel addressed the crowd and assured them the Nevis Island Administration was committed to the well-being of the island’s elderly. He mentioned many programs the have been implemented under this administration, such as the Senior Citizen’s Division, Home Health Care and outreach centers in Butlers and Flats Mandela. “As the minister of Health and Social services, I have ensured that medication, duty concessions and public assistance are provided to the seniors. We established the Retired and professional Skills Corps to use the knowledge and experience of the aged to shape today’s modern society and have provided regular training programs

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