Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud has said that rehabilitation works are ongoing at the Palms Geriatric Home to accommodate its increasing patient intake.
The Minister made this disclosure during an interview with the Department of Public Information.
“We are looking at maintenance, making sure that there are lifts as well as putting in ramps to cater for people with disability. We are also looking at staffing, making sure that people are adequately cared for,” she said.
While the Ministry intends to care for those residents at the Palms, there are cases where elderly persons are abandoned to fend for themselves. The Ministry last month reactivated the Elderly Commission to address the issues affecting the elderly.
The Commission will coordinate the planning and development of various programmes and services for senior citizens. It will also recommend priorities for implementation with regards to manpower, financial and other resources available.
“The elderly population is a big part of this country and sometimes they are forgotten, neglected and sometimes we do not talk about them, but I think we should pay attention since they spent their years contributing to the development of this country. So, we will be rolling out a comprehensive programme targeting them very soon,” Minister Persaud said.
Meanwhile, services offered at the Night Shelter to help persons with disabilities (PWDs) to obtain gainful employment has commenced. The Minister said that this programme has proven to be quite successful.
“We are planning to transition them to the Mahaica hospital where we are planning to develop a complex and have more done with people from the disabled population,” she added.
Moving forward, the Hugo Chavez Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintegration will be transformed into a drug rehabilitation centre for persons dealing with drug and substance abuse.
The Venezuelan-funded US$2 million centre was commissioned on August 10, 2013. It aimed at providing training programmes to help persons experiencing challenges reintegrate back into society. They are also provided with treatment, transportation, clothing and toiletries and meals in addition to receiving skills training.