“Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions”.
That was the theme of the International Day of the Older Persons. And it’s being described as “fitting” by Secretary of Health Wellness and Family Development Dr. Agatha Carrington because of the social and medical challenges facing senior citizens.
These include elder abuse, loneliness and ill health.
“Research has indicated that more than 12 per cent of the population of Trinidad and Tobago is over 60 years old,” Dr. Carrington stressed during her message to mark the occasion. “Approximately 8,000 persons in Tobago are 60 years old and over, and this group of the population has been increasing over the past decade.”
Dr. Carrington believes growing old does not decrease a person’s dignity and fundamental rights.
She added: “Older persons should not be forgotten, used and abused but they should be included and treated with respect. In fact, older persons possess a wealth of knowledge that could be utilised to advance our societies and develop our families.”
She encouraged older persons to take care of their health, and urged “caregivers, families and friends [to] encourage them.”