A geriatrician holds the hand of an elderly woman with arthritis.
A geriatrician holds the hand of an elderly woman with arthritis.

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.


  1. The elderly has paved the way for the younger generation. They have paid their dues. Yet, too many of our seniors are abandoned like derelict vehicles . Malnutrition, hunger, loneliness, aches and grief become staples of their daily lives. We must do better for this most vulnerable group of “veterans ” (They cared and fought for us). Any program that would elevate their standard of living is happily welcomed.

  2. I think those statistics are wrong to see this as a problem in 20 years. The elderly population is already here in huge numbers. People in their 30’s are already dealing with it in terms of their parents and other members of their family. so i think they need to revise those numbers for the caribbean. it may get even worst then in 20 years but seniors are a big chunk of the population now. some may still be up and about but the majority are dealing with chronic illnesses that kill them by 50’s 0r 60’s. so we need to address this issue NOW. our healthcare system should be a priority. we dont have the next 20 years to think of this. and remember that in our islands, there was a time many of the people did not even have proper birth records and so we are dealing with more old people than we might even realise.

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