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December 14, 2013
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Jamaicans urged to care for senior citizens

Derrick Kellier, Minister of Labour and Social Security.

Minister of Labour and Social Security Derrick Kellier has called for Jamaicans to show greater care for the country's senior citizens.

The minister, who was speaking at a Christmas fair held on December 11 at the Golden Age Home in Kingston, stated that the society would be judged by how it treats its elderly.

He said the fact that persons may have to reside at facilities such as the Golden Age Home when they get older "does not mean that they are any less human than the rest of us, and we have to understand that we have to be a caring society".

Kellier noted that the protection of the most vulnerable in the society, including seniors, is a vital part of Vision 2030: the National Development Plan, and the Government remained committed to ensuring their well-being through various initiatives.

The minister said he was "very happy" to see the level of care being provided to the residents of the home. "What takes place here is active ageing. People age, but they are still active," he said.

He praised the staff for their passion, professionalism, and dedication. "It is reassuring to know that we can count on them," he stated.

Kellier also commended their plans for the long-term development of the facility and pledged to work towards the realisation of those goals, which include the development of a major health and wellness centre.

"We are lifting the Golden Age Home to a level so that it becomes a beacon of hope to many more across the Caribbean and the world," he stated.

The residents of the home were treated to a hearty meal, gifts, and entertainment by staff and performing artistes. Representatives of several corporate entities were on hand to bring cheer to the seniors.

The Golden Age Home, located in Vineyard Town, is a key element in the Safety net Strategy devised by the ministry to protect the most vulnerable in the society.

Over 453 residents are housed at the home, which is the largest facility of its kind in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.

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