Over the next 20 years the number of older persons in the Caribbean will double. This ageing of the population has important implications for public policy in areas such as pensions, health, and social care services.
Consequently, there is an urgent need to strengthen social protection against the risks associated with ageing, for example loss of income, ill health, disability, loss of independence, isolation and abuse. At the same time, with older persons making up an increasing proportion of the population, societies must embrace the contribution that older people can make to economic, social and family life.
To help curb this problem the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth Development, Sports, Culture and Local Government will examine a new programme that will empower seniors and make them more productive citizens. The programme is to be modeled after the Martinique programme “AMDOR” designed to strengthen social protection against the risks associated with ageing and persons with disabilities.
To accomplish this, a team of welfare officers from Saint Lucia visited “AMDOR” where they accessed Martinique’s system. The envisaged programme will explore creative means of promoting sustainable development and create inclusive job opportunities thereby reducing poverty in Saint Lucia.
International efforts to address population ageing are closely linked to the protection of the human rights of older persons which has become a subject of increasing concern to the international community over a number of years.