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Month of the Elderly kicks off with theme ‘We are older, not over’

Dr. Cassandra Williams

Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Social Services, with special responsibility for Seniors’ Security, Dr. Cassandra Williams has praised the elderly for their contribution which has helped propel Dominica’s development and growth.

“As a society, we must always be cognizant that older persons are a repository of knowledge and experience whose contributions have helped propel Dominica’s development and growth in several areas of endeavor,” she said.

According to Dr. Williams, older persons are the essence of our society and we acknowledge that they are still able to play an integral role in our efforts to build our country and create a more hopeful future for our children.

“Their wisdom and insight are still needed to guide us towards the future full of promise for those who will come after,” she stated.

Furthermore, Dr. Williams indicated that Dominican seniors are entitled to healthcare and medication at no cost to them, “and in January 2023 government extended the non-contributory pension to individuals from 65 years of age and increased the pension amount by 5 percent.”

She pointed out that the ‘Yes We Care’ Program is a God-sent initiative that provides dedicated daily homecare to these vulnerable members of our society as well as monthly supplies and medication.

“Many of our elderly continue to benefit from housing assistance as well as the annual subvention to several organizations [that] provide institutional care to the elderly, “Dr. Williams said.

She continued, “It [would] be remiss of me if I did not pay particular homage to our 14 centenarians who are enjoying their twilight years and the high quality of life here on the nature island.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Williams revealed that Dominica’s most senior centenarian is 109 years and the youngest is 100 years and 93 days.

“We regard them as the gems of Dominica,” she said.

The DCOA is a voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that was established in 1993. It serves as a coordinating body for national groups concerned with the welfare of older persons. The council was registered under the Companies Act of Dominica on June 18, 2004.

The calendar of events for the month of the elderly is attached below: