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Week set aside to celebrate the elderly

This week is being observed as Older Persons Week. Patroness of Helpage Belize, Maria Elena Sylvester delivered the opening address.

Maria Elena Sylvester – Patroness of Helpage

“Help Age Belize has never wavered in working towards its goal of alleviating situations that many older persons experienced as the ageing process takes it toll on their minds, bodies and quality of life. From north to south east to west members of the various branches perform acts of love and kindness to our older persons. Many of them seniors themselves visit the homebound, deliver meals on wheels, give baths, hold clinics and organize programs that bring friends engaging in activities such as crafts, exercise, fellowship and celebrations of birthdays and special occasions.”

Sylvester said Helpage Belize can be proud of its efforts to advocate and lobby for the rights of older persons.

Maria Elena Sylvester – Patroness of Helpage

“It was Helpage Belize who submitted the first draft in 1997 of what later became the Government of Belize’s Policy for older persons. Helpage Belize funded by Helpage International produced the legal review of Belizean Law relating to the rights of older persons and conducted the first survey countrywide to learn how older persons viewed the conditions of their lives and what they considered priorities to improve such conditions. Still we have not signed into law the rights of older persons in Belize. In spite of global efforts to recognize the rights of increasing number of persons who reach the milestone of 60 the United Nations after several international fora since Madrid in 2003 has failed in its efforts to persuade governments to adopt policies to protect and improve the lives of older persons. By 2030 when it is supposed the sustainable development goals will have been met older persons 60 plus will be 1.4 billion in number.”

The week which will end on Sunday, October 1, the International Day for Older Persons, is being celebrated under the theme “: Stepping into the future: Tapping the talents, contributions and participation of older persons in Society.”