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Story Highlights

  • Healthy ageing will be the focus as Jamaica observes Senior Citizens’ Month this September.
  • Themed: ‘Healthy Ageing is the Desirable Goal: Activate Your Action Plan Now’, the month will involve a number of activities geared towards promoting a healthy lifestyle, especially among the elderly.
  • Executive Director at the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC), Angella Toyloy, in an interview with JIS News, said turning the spotlight on healthy ageing is necessary as the impact of our lifestyle will manifest during our older years.

Healthy ageing will be the focus as Jamaica observes Senior Citizens’ Month this September.

Themed: ‘Healthy Ageing is the Desirable Goal: Activate Your Action Plan Now’, the month will involve a number of activities geared towards promoting a healthy lifestyle, especially among the elderly.

Executive Director at the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC), Angella Toyloy, in an interview with JIS News, said turning the spotlight on healthy ageing is necessary as the impact of our lifestyle will manifest during our older years.

“Healthy ageing is everyone’s business because if we age in a healthy way, then we will delay the onset of chronic illnesses and do better in our retirement years… and we will not have to spend most of our savings on our health,” she said.

Mrs. Toyloy explained that the objective of the month is to “highlight and recognise” the contributions that the elderly have made to their communities and society at large.

The month kick-started with an inter-parish Bible quiz competition on Thursday (September 3) and will be followed by a national spelling competition on Thursday (September 17).

While the entire month of September will focus on seniors, a special week of activities has been planned.

The week will begin on National Grandparents’ Day, Sunday (September 27) with a National Church service at the Church of God of Prophecy, 41 Old Harbour Road in

St. Catherine, starting at 10:00 a.m., followed on Monday (September 28) with a garden party at the St. Andrew Parish Church Hall.

A tree planting exercise is being planned for Tuesday (September 29), while for Wednesday (September 30) community and outreach groups are being encouraged to take members of the elderly on recreational trips.

On Thursday (October 1), which will be observed as International Day of Older Persons, the Council will host an awards function in each parish to honour  outstanding senior citizens; winners of its Bible and Spelling Bee competitions as well as seniors who participated in its skills workshop and sports day. This will be followed on Friday (October 2) with exhibitions at the parish libraries across the island.

The week of activities will culminate with an evening of entertainment at The Mico University College.

Mrs. Toyloy is encouraging Jamaicans to continue caring for, and respecting the elderly. “I am asking that, as a nation, we continue to respect our older persons and show them that we care. Give a helping hand and reach out to them, especially those that are shut in,” she said.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Kiwanis Clubs of Kingston and North St. Andrew are supporting this year’s activities.