JIS News

State Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Andrew Gallimore, has said that plans are afoot for the active re-engagement of a number of the country’s senior citizens in areas of community and national development.
Making his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 2, Mr. Gallimore said that Jamaica, like the rest of the world, was experiencing the “active ageing phenomenon,” where a significant percentage of the population comprised senior citizens.
“The fact of the matter is that many persons who we now put into the realm of being senior citizens, still have a tremendous amount of energy, and have a tremendous amount of contribution that they still can make to the growth and development of our society, and communities that they live in,” he pointed out.
Mr. Gallimore told the House that the National Council for Senior Citizens would be seeking to engage the country’s seniors in a number of activities, and would be utilizing the voters’ list in this endeavour.
“What is beautiful about the voters’ list…is that it tells you the occupation (of the individuals). So we will be able to cluster persons according to their different disciplines, and engage them in different ways,” the State Minister explained.
These, he said, would include sports, and more “inter-generational functions” in order to get them to transfer their knowledge to the nation’s youth, and keep them (seniors) engaged, to counter the depression and loneliness often associated with retirement.
“Our seniors must be seen as a resource, and not a burden. They have a lot left that they can do for this country; it is our job to re-engage them,” Mr. Gallimore emphasized.