The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services through the Division of Ageing will launch a series of activities to commemorate International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) 2020 on October 1st.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing.”
Some of the activities are geared towards the general public and will include an online challenge to commemorate the IDOP and the launch of the “HALO” YouTube Series.
For the online challenge, participants will be encouraged to post pictures to MSDFS’ social media pages of them performing the challenge using the promotional hashtags: #HALO: “Honor, Appreciate & Love Older People” and #PICS: “Positive, Inspiring, Connections with Senior Citizens”.
On October 1, 2020, persons will be encouraged to wear ‘white’ &/or ‘grey’ to acknowledge the contributions of our older persons, as well as the efforts of health workers and caregivers.
Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Senator the Honourable Donna Cox indicated that COVID-19 has seen an unprecedented shift to virtual interactions and transactions.
She said given the uncertainty of when the pandemic will end, skills in information communication technology is crucial to adapting to the new normal.
“The impact on older adults is notable and this is why we are having these activities that encourage the use of technology by our older adults as well as promote intergenerational bonding,” Cox said.
This year has seen the emergence of the Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has affected older persons across the globe and right here in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Ministry said that several of our COVID deaths in Trinidad were among people over 60 years of age.
Older persons are also challenged by issues such as social isolation and loneliness, inadequate access to health care and social services, neglect and abuse in institutions and care facilities, increased poverty and unemployment, as well as heightened fear, anxiety and trauma as a result of COVID-19.
In the upcoming weeks, the Ministry intends to highlight these and many other issues affecting older persons as well as bring more awareness of the contributions made by our senior citizens to national development.
The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services wishes to encourage all citizens to find various ways to assist or demonstrate concern for older persons as Trinidad and Tobago continues to navigate through this unprecedented period in the world’s history.